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Massaged Kale with Lemon and Pine Nuts - A delicious and easy way to enjoy Tuscan Kale!

When I first suggested to my husband Jack that we try Massaged Kale – he looked at me as if I had two heads! 🙂 But stay with me – because massaging kale is a very delicious and easy way to prepare this healthy green vegetable.

We eat a lot of kale at our house (especially Jack since he’s been following the Whole30 program), and more often than not, he cooks up a big batch of it following this recipe.  But when chopped kale is tossed with oil and lemon juice, then massaged with your fingertips for just a few minutes, it gets very tender and has a similar taste, texture and appearance to cooked kale!

Massaged Kale with Lemon and Pine Nuts - A delicious and easy way to enjoy Tuscan Kale!

We added even more flavor to our massaged kale by adding sautéed garlic and anchovies, plus some lemon juice to the extra virgin olive oil used in our massaged kale recipe. Then a final sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast if you are following a dairy-free diet) plus toasted pine nuts is the perfect finishing touch.

After enjoying this delicious massaged kale, Jack no long looks at me like I’m crazy! 😉  I hope you’ll give this recipe a try too!

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Massaged Kale - A Family Feast

Massaged Kale

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


The easiest way I have found to clean Tuscan kale from the stem is to hold the stem in one hand while running your fingers of the other hand down the rib while pulling the leaves off. You should be left with the rib in one hand and the leaves in another.


  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ can anchovies (1 ounce), oil from can discarded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoon nutritional yeast (to keep this recipe Whole30 compliant), or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 cups trimmed from ribs and washed Tuscan kale, cut into pieces, see note above


  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for five minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, place oil and garlic and sauté for one minute.
  3. Add anchovies and break up the anchovies into the oil. Cook for five minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, add lemon juice, stir and cool.
  5. To assemble, place washed and trimmed kale in a large bowl.
  6. Top with oil mixture and with your hands, massage the oil mixture into the kale. The kale will start to break down and within a few minutes, almost look like it was cooked.
  7. To serve, top with toasted pine nuts and nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links:

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Massaged Kale with Lemon and Pine Nuts - A delicious and easy way to enjoy Tuscan Kale!


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