Ok, so I have a lot of kale salads on the blog, (9 if you’re counting) so I thought it might be nice to share a “how-to” post on de-stemming and thinly slicing kale instead of always linking you all to my lactinato kale salad recipe where you have to scroll down the post just to get the info.
I already did a post on how to keep kale and other greens fresh, and since then I have received a lot of positive comments from readers and friends saying that those simple tips have made their lives so much easier when it comes to preparing a salad at the end of the day. Kale is one of those lettuces that keeps well. If washed and stored properly, it will keep up to 2 weeks. Most kale salads last up to 3 days in the fridge. That means if you make a kale salad on Monday, you will have leftovers Tuesday and Wednesday. I mean who doesn’t like a salad that you can make ahead or better yet have leftovers of?
A note about purchasing lacinato kale: Don’t purchase lacinato kale that feels tough and paper-like. It will not breakdown and thus will not absorb the dressing even when you massage it. Kale is best when its soft and pliable, (feels like regular lettuce) as it absorbs the dressing and is tender when eaten.
First off, whenever I wash my kale, I de-stem it at the same time over the sink, and then throw the de-stemmed leaves into the salad spinner to dry off. Then all I have to do is slice up the dry kale leaves.
To de-stem kale, grab a stalk of kale, hold it by the stem with one hand and place the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off. You can do this step right above the sink after you wash your kale leaves.
See how easily the leaf pulls away from the stem? This step gets easier each time you do it. At this point you can wrap the kale leaves in paper towels and store them, or continue on below if you’re making a salad.
Here is how to cut your kale into thin strips. You can also use this technique for any sort of lettuce and herbs. Take 3-4 kales leaves and lay them on top of one another, and then roll them up tightly. If you’re using curly kale, it’s easier to just tear it apart into small pieces after you de-stem it, as it’s a bit unruly to roll up and cut into thin slices.
Take your knife and slice the kale into thin strips until you get to the end.