7 Ways To Make A Better Kale Salad

    We've all had that terrible kale salad experience where it feels like the inside of your mouth is being assaulted by a giant tree. Here's how to avoid that.

    There are two kinds of kale you'll usually find at the supermarket.

    One is curly kale:

    The other is lacinato kale, also called Tuscan kale, cavolo nero, or dinosaur kale (dino for short):

    Curly kale is fibrous and grassy tasting, so it's not the *best* for salads, unless you really love chewing.

    In general, lacinato kale works better.

    First things first: Cut the ribs out of the leaves.

    Now, you can rough-chop the kale leaves...

    ...or you can "chiffonade" them, which means slice them into thin ribbons.

    To slice them into ribbons, use this great trick: Stack and roll up a bunch of leaves:

    Then, slice through the roll:

    Chiffonade kale makes beautiful salads.

    Also, it's best if you're making a grain-based salad with kale.

    Once you've sliced the kale, let it sit with a little oil and salt for about half an hour before mixing with other ingredients and dressing.

    Choosing the right dressing makes a huge difference.

    Kale is a really sturdy green, so you can use a heavy sauce. Nut-based dressings work well.

    Ditto ones made with avocado.

    Or, a vinaigrette with a lot of acid will break down the fibers in the kale and make it easier to chew.

    This is not a typical lettuce salad — the kale won't wilt as easily — so you can use a little more dressing than usual.

    Try "massaging" the dressing into the kale.

    You can even dress it a day in advance, then put it in the fridge and let all the flavors mingle.

    Or, use a warm vinaigrette, which will cook the leaves *just* enough to take a little bit of the harsh raw crunch out.

    If you hate raw kale, you can always make a cooked kale salad. Try roasting the leaves.

    Or grilling it.

    And, remember that bacon has a way of making anything better.

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