Freshfield Grove

Tales of Tasmanian Adventures in Olive Oil

Massaged Kale Salad


It’s said that eating raw kale can make you feel as if your mouth is being assaulted by a giant tree. Avoid this by massaging the kale leaves, softening both the texture and the flavour of this sturdy vegetable, while retaining the nutrients. Even non-salad lovers / men tend to come back for seconds, after a suspicious first mouthful!

This is a basic recipe, but very versatile, so try changing it up with some of the variations at the end. It’s great as a side dish for BBQd and grilled meats. And because kale can hold its own, it doesn’t wilt in warm weather like lettuce can, and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.

massaged kale salad ingredients evoo

For 4 people you will need: about 6 kale leaves, fresh Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), sea salt, a mango, 100gm (Tasmanian) feta cheese, ground black pepper.


Wash the kale well.

Remove the central ribs and roughly slice the leaves.

Place the sliced leaves in a large bowl with 3 tbsp EVOO and a pinch of sea salt.

Massage the kale with your fingers for about 3 minutes, until it “wilts”, becoming softer and bright green in colour.

Add the chopped flesh of the mango and the feta cheese.

kale mango feta

Mix to combine with another 3 tbsp of EVOO, and salt and pepper to taste, then rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge to allow the flavours to mingle.

And finally, if your bunch of kale has gone a bit wilty, treat it like a bunch of flowers. Chop a bit off the bottom of the stems and stand in some water. I keep mine standing in a glass of water in the fridge and it’ll last for a week (although it does take up beer space!) FFx

keep kale longer water


massaged kale salad evoo mango feta

Author: FarmerFi

I'm a British doctor who married an Aussie, moved to Tasmania, and bought an olive grove. Now making extra virgin olive oil and olive leaf tea. I'd love you to join my adventures in the beautiful setting of Southern Tasmania.

17 thoughts on “Massaged Kale Salad

  1. Great recipe, and thanks for including the variations.


  2. I love kale! I like mixing it with ceviche! Will try the variations. Thank you.


  3. WUNDERBAR, Fi !!! – kale is something I want to eat, but never know what the bloody hell to do with ! [grin]
    This looks absolutely fantastic, and if I hadn’t just got back from the IGA, I’d be off to buy some kale.
    I believe I shall go to Paddy’s tomorrow morning EARLY. By light rail. That’ll be fun.
    But if this salad turns out not to be as terrific as it looks, you’re in trouble … 😀


  4. Well, this was very timely. I just got a bunch of kale in my fruit and veg box. Definitely making this tomorrow. YUM! 🙂


  5. Hi Fi! I made this salad tonight and OH MY GOSH! So YUM! Even my non-feta-eating 15-year-old ate a serving without leaving ANY little white squares on his plate! Weird thing – I stopped at the supermarket after rowing this morning to buy milk and thought I might as well pick up the mango and feta while I was at it. BOTH were on special! (And I mean the Tasmanian Feta!) Then, super-weird thing – the mango deal was a 2-for so I bought two. I counted my kale leaves and I had 12. With a 200g packet of feta I had EXACTLY enough to double the recipe. (Always a good idea with three teenage boys in the house.) Thanks for the recipe. So easy and so divine. We’ll definitely be doing it again with summer on its way. 🙂


  6. I don’t often eat kale raw. I usually add it to soups and stews. But this sounds yummy and won’t have that tree-like texture. I’ll have to try it. Thanks for the recipe and tips 🙂


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