If you have an aversion to kale, then this just may be the salad that will make you a convert. The flavors in this salad are so crazy good. While kale itself is a little bitter, it's matched perfectly by the sweetness of the golden raisins, the salty bite of the pecorino, and the bright acidity of the simple lemon dressing. I like to use curly kale for this but lacinato or tuscan kale works just as well.
A quick word about massaging kale: don't worry, I'm not going all "hippy dippy your vegetables have feelings" on you. Massaging kale is actually pretty cool. It not only improves the flavor by making the kale less bitter, it also makes the kale more digestible and its nutrients more available for absorption into your body. And even after you massage the kale and the leaves soften, this salad still holds its texture well for several days, which makes this salad perfect to take for lunch for the week. If you want to bump up the protein and make it a little heartier and filling, this salad is also really good with quinoa.
Kale Salad with Golden Raisins + Pecorino Romano
1 bunch kale, washed and dried
1/3 c finely grated pecorino romano
1/3 c golden raisins
1/4 c toasted slivered almonds
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 t sugar
1/4 c + 1 t olive oil
ground black pepper
Remove the kale leaves from the stalks and finely chop. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 t of olive oil and massage for a minute or two until the kale leaves feel softer in your hands and darker in color. Set aside while you make the dressing.
Whisk together the lemon juice and zest, 1/4 c olive oil, sugar, and pepper. Drizzle over the kale and toss to coat. Add the golden raisins, pecorino, and almonds.