I finally gave in to the kale trend; not because it was healthy or anything, but because I had to try a “kale massage.” Let me explain; while looking for some new salad recipes for the weekend, I read that giving the kale leaves a little oil and vinegar rub is a “thing” these days. The action softens the leaves, according to those in the know. So I had to give it a try. By the way, the resulting salad is pretty darn good.


Recipe: Kale Apple Salad with Bacon and Candied Pecans
Serves 2 (as a main)


Start with about 2 cups chopped black kale. You want to slice it thin enough that the strips have a coleslaw appearance.


Whether you chop or just tear the kale, first slice out the thick middle stem (you can use these in smoothies).


Slice up a tangy apple into matchsticks.


Add half a radicchio, for a bit of bitter accent.


Set aside some candied pecans and cranberries — about ¼ cup.


Finally, chop up three slices of crisp bacon.


Before you combine everything: finally, you get to massage your kale! (Or, put the kids to work on this.) Add a simple dressing; I used a maple-balsamic. Now, get your hands in there and toss around the kale-plus-dressing. Soften up that leafy veg! Let the tossed kale sit for 15-20 minutes — it will become even more tender — then add your apple, radicchio, bacon and candied nuts… and serve. Betcha even the kids will give it a try (mine did)!


Recipe: Kale-Apple Salad with Bacon and Candied Pecans
Serves 2 as a main

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups black kale, finely chopped
1 apple, washed and sliced into matchsticks
½ a radicchio, finely chopped
¼ cup candied pecans
¼ cup cranberries
3 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and olive oil.
  2. Combine with shredded kale and toss and rub the dressing into the greens for a couple of minutes. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes, to become tender.
  3. Add the apple, radicchio, pecans and cranberries. Toss and serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Sue_RiedlSue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 4-year-old.