Massaged Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries

In the spirit of Friday’s divorce recovery tip, today’s recipe is a healthy but delicious kale salad with massaged kale and dried cranberries. Maple syrup sweetens the salad, while pine nuts provide a delicious crunch.

Tuscan kale (use as much as you need for how much salad you want)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ tsp salt
Olive oil
Maple syrup
Fresh ground pepper
Dried sweetened cranberries
Red onion as desired
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Pine nuts, toasted
Country ham

Rinse your kale thoroughly, and then tear the leaves off the stems. Tear the leaves into small pieces and put them in a bowl. Add lemon juice and salt. Massage the kale as if kneading bread. The kale will break down and become dark in color. This can take several minutes depending on your hand strength.

Drizzle with olive oil and massage the kale for another minute. Make sure you don’t add too much olive oil, or the flavor will be overwhelming – if it creates a noticeable pool in the bottom of the bowl, it’s too much.

Toss the kale with a bit of maple syrup, which will cut the bitterness of the kale. The amount of maple syrup depends on your personal preferences as far as how sweet you would like the salad to be. If you’re not sure how much to put, err on the side of less – you can always add more.

Heat the oven to 375F. Toast your pine nuts for 5 – 10 minutes (until golden-brown) on a small cookie sheet lined with tinfoil. While the pine nuts are toasting, cut your country ham into thin slices. Sautee the ham on a skillet over medium-high heat, turning the slices occasionally so all sides get equally browned. The salty, meaty ham balances the sweetness of the maple syrup and cranberries, giving the salad a more complex flavor. Do not cook the ham for too long – once it starts to brown, it’s ready. Overcooking the ham will make it dry and chewy.

Add your ham slices, pine nuts, fresh ground pepper, cranberries, grated parmesan, and red onion. Toss until all ingredients are mixed. Enjoy!

This salad is excellent as a snack, light lunch, or a first course for dinner.

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