Have you massaged your kale today?
While it sounds weird and kinda dirty, massaging kale is a great way to prepare it for a salad, sandwich, or even just eating post-rubdown. I admit I was hesitant about trying the method, because while I like cooked kale and kale mixed in smoothies, I’m not a big fan of raw kale salads.
Massaging kale with a little bit of vinegar softens it up and adds tang – and makes it a perfect ingredient to add to a sandwich, like my favorite tuna salad.
I grew up eating tuna salad that was simply flaked tuna mixed with plenty of that name brand non-mayonnaise product. Granted, this version is super creamy and helps moisturize dense whole wheat bread, but there comes a time when sandwiches need to move on.
Texture is an important part of the eating experience for me, and there’s a long list of foods I won’t eat due to the texture (refried beans is one, unless they’re on a taco, snuggled underneath a layer of fried avocado …). I add celery and apple to tuna to give crunch and a little bit of sweetness, and try to not make the entire mixture too wet, especially if I’m making a big batch to use for lunches throughout the week (the longer mixed tuna salad sits, the greater chance of excess moisture will be created).
The vinegar that I use for the kale also goes into the tuna salad. I’ve found flavored vinegars to be a really easy way to add depth to recipes. The end result is a sandwich that doesn’t reek of vinegar, but has all the components’ flavors heightened.
For this recipe I used the Fire Roasted Chili Honey Vinegar from Honey Ridge Farms, but you can use any flavored vinegar. Remember that the flavor will deepen the longer the salad sits, so be sure to taste your vinegar beforehand to help you decide how much to use. This particular vinegar added a nice underpinning of heat that counters nicely with the apple and tuna and isn’t overpowering.
Tuna Salad Wraps
4 cups torn kale
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Fire Roasted Chili Honey Vinegar, divided
2 cans (14 ounces total) chunk white albacore tuna
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup diced celery
1 cup diced apple
Salt and pepper
Tortillas, lavash, or other flatbread
In a bowl, drizzle 1 tablespoon vinegar over torn kale. Use your fingers to massage the vinegar into the kale – the kale will wilt slightly and blush. Let sit while you prepare the tuna salad.
Drain tuna and flake meat into a large bowl. Mix in mayonnaise and the remaining vinegar until well incorporated. Stir in celery and apple, and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, make a bed of kale on a tortilla mattress. Add tuna and roll up. Stick it all in a pita pocket if you can’t handle rolling.
Makes about 8 sandwiches, if you don’t have overzealous sandwich fillers.
Disclaimer: This post is part of my continuing relationship with Honey Ridge Farms and their Spread the Love campaign. I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t like it. Deal with it.