Whatcha gonna do with all that KALE? All that kale and collard greens?! Imma make make a mason jar salad! (Can anyone name that song reference?) It’s nearing the end of garden season. 🙁 No more fresh herbs, cucumbers, raspberries, peaches, tomatoes, or romaine to be picked in my yard. The one thing that is still going strong? Mass quantities of hearty cruciferous leaves of kale and collard greens. The unfortunate truth: raw kale is pretty nasty unless you prepare it right. I know it’s supposed to be this amazing superfood, but I always cringe a little when I hear friends of mine pretend that they like kale in their green smoothies. Liars. It can be such an an overpoweringly bitter flavor. Stop fooling yourselves. The good news is, I figured out a way to save money on store bought salad ingredients like lettuce and spinach AND use up my whole harvest without wasting any of it. Best of all? No cooking or freezing necessary. You can have your greens and they’ll taste good too! My secret? Marinate them at least a day in advance. Here is my easy shmeasy go-to recipe for a kale/collard green mason jar salad that doesn’t taste like the bitter earth. 😉
2 large handfuls of chopped raw fresh kale or collard greens
1 chopped fresh tomato
1 tbsp chopped onion (optional)
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil aioli
salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze lemon juice and pour olive oil or aioli into the bottom of a large 32 oz. mason jar. Olive oil will make the dressing more like a vinaigrette, and aioli will make it more creamy. Add kale, tomatoes, onion, salt, and pepper. Close the lid and shake it vigorously until all ingredients are well combined. Let marinate in fridge at least overnight, or up to 2 days.
This is a great grab & go lunch salad. By the time you get to it the next day, the greens have soaked up the dressing, making them tender but not soggy. The lemon helps to offset the bitterness of the greens making them taste light and fresh. Serve it up as-is or make it a more filling meal by topping off with a protein like some grilled chicken or fish. Eat up and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to pretend to like kale anymore. Don’t have an ridiculous cornucopia of collards and kale? Hit me up, I’ve got plenty to share.