Philacatessen | Tootsie’s Kale Salad

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Tootsie Iovine in front of Tootsies
Tootsie Iovine (Photo by Keri White)

Recently, I sent food to a friend’s shiva. Normally, I would make it myself, but I was traveling when the event occurred and did not return in time to attend.

I ordered several dishes to be delivered from Reading Terminal Market, and the one that received the most raves was the kale salad from Tootsie’s Salad Express. The proprietor, Tootsie Iovine, was thrilled to hear that the salad was enjoyed by my friend and her family and was kind enough to share the recipe.

She told me, “I was working with a nutritionist a while back and she was the one who taught me how to make this. It is a real labor of love, because it takes a lot of chopping — cutting the kale into ribbons. Then you have to kind of massage the dressing into the kale to tenderize — it’s like a spa treatment!”

With kale a reliable local green grown practically year round, this is an ideal winter salad. And because kale is quite hardy, the salad keeps, dressed, for several days.

Tootsie’s Kale Salad

Serves 4-6

  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed, tough stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Cut the kale into thin strips, chiffonade style, like cole slaw.

Mix the remaining ingredients except the dried cranberries in a small bowl and whisk until well blended.

Drizzle the dressing over the kale and massage it into the leaves for about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the cranberries onto the salad, taste for seasonings, add more salt and pepper if needed, toss and serve.

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