Massaged Greens Salad

This recipe was suggested by CSA member, Tricia. She found it on Tricia tells me that the soy sauce is the secret to success.

I didn’t have a couple of the ingredients on hand so I modified the original recipe slightly. The original calls for mustard greens but I tried it with turnip tops. You can also use this method with other “bitter greens”; kale and Swiss chard for example.

I liked the recipe. It was a little too citrus-y and I can see how it would be even better with the Parmesan cheese and anchovies from the original (which I didn’t have on hand) but I was happy to eat it this way too.

Some people would rather not massage their food in which case you can toss the greens with dressing, let them sit, and they will tenderize on their own. How long it takes for the salad to wilt depends on the type of greens you are using.

Massaged Greens Salad


  • Greens from 1 bunch of salad turnips or a bag of mustard greens or a bunch of kale
  • 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Tamari is salty so I didn't feel I needed to add more salt.


  1. Strip leaves from the stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add oil, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and pepper.
  3. With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens to work in the flavoring. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. The greens should look a little darker and somewhat shiny.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and/or pepper, if desired. Add salt now, if desired.