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Kale’s gone upmarket, from deli buffet garnish to bespoke green

If grey is the new black in fashion, then kale is the new arugula in produce aisles. And this suddenly vogue vegetable is being sold in smaller bunches for higher prices. (Going rate: about $2.99 for a bunch that’s a third of the previously mammoth bouquet size.)

No kale experts came forward to speak on a possible shortage, but we’ve noticed that this city is in serious kale consumption mode. Detoxers and health-enthusiasts are guzzling kale-based green juice, whether from Organic Avenue, BluePrint Cleanse, or Liquiteria. Kale’s also hit the primetime on restaurant menus. Il Buco serves it with sage-rubbed porchetta and Tom Colicchio is stuffing kale into squid at his new venture, Colicchio & Sons. The Farm on Adderly flakes Parmesan over it in a salad. Kale has crossed over from Moosewood-cookbook crunchy to Manhattan chic.

Our favorite way to eat kale hails actually comes from a business more famous for juicing the green, the BluePrint Cleanse.  Founders Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss created this killer creamy, and slightly spicy, raw kale salad.

Since learning the raw food preparation last summer—you massage the kale with salt and lemon juice instead of steaming it— we’ve literally been making it twice a week. (And eating the entire thing ourselves.) It’s a delicious staple, made in ten minutes with pretty standard pantry items, as long as you manage to grab that last bunch of kale.

Marinated Kale and Sesame Salad

1 bunch kale (11 oz.), washed, stems removed
½-1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons nama shoyu/Bragg’s Amino Acids
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch cayenne
¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional), chopped
2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds
½ cup sesame tahini
¾ cucumber, chopped (¾ of a whole cucumber)
½ cup tomatoes, chopped with seeds removed (1 medium tomato)
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, torn (4 large leaves)

1.  Place kale in small bowl and add salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.

2.  Massage well with hands, squeezing kale leaves until wilted, 1-2 minutes.

3.  Add Bragg’s/nama shoyu, cayenne, tahini and sesame seeds. Massage 1-2 minutes longer.

4.  Gently toss in cucumbers, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes if using, and basil. If you want to make a hearty meal out of it, trying adding shitake mushrooms, cashews, or chickpeas.

Do you have any delicious kale recipes to share? Tell us, here!