Massaged Kale Salad with Apple and Dried Sour Cherries
My eight year-old daughter will eat this salad. She loves it. The sweet element of apples and dried fruit are what makes it for her, she puts up with the rest. Massaging the kale is the key element to this dish; do not skip this step.
Remove stems from kale leaves by pulling leaf away from both sides of the stem in one swift movement. Once de-stemmed, in 2 batches, stack leaves, roll up and cut into thin ribbons crossways (chiffonade). Wash and drain well in a colander.
Very thinly slice 1/8 cup onion. Roughly chop dried cherries. Core and finely dice apple. Toast sunflower seeds: put in a dry skillet over low heat for a few minutes, stirring often, until they give off a nutty aroma, and remove immediately from the pan so they don't over toast.
Put drained kale in a salad bowl. Add salt, massage salt into kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes. Do not rinse.
Pour off any leftover liquid after massaging kale. Stir onion, dried fruit, apple and most of the toasted seeds into kale. Dress with oil and vinegar and toss. Taste for salt and vinegar, adding more if necessary. Garnish with sunflower seeds and serve.
*Lacinato kale is also goes by the names black kale, Cavolo Nero, Dinosaur Kale, Tuscan kale. It is my first choice for kale variety in this recipe, due to texture, but others could work as well.