Massaged Kale with Tomatoes, Creamed Mozzarella, and Wild Rice

Reprinted from Ruffage by Abra Berens with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019

The amount of time it takes to tenderize raw greens will vary depending on the age of the plant. The tougher the leaves, the longer it will take. Along the way, taste an individual leaf and once it is easily chewable, you’re done.

This recipe calls for wild rice but substitute any cooked grain—especially any random grains that are in the back of your fridge. If you do use wild rice, you don’t need to soak the grains overnight, but soaked rice will cook much more quickly and will “pop” when cooked, improving the texture, in my opinion. Unsoaked rice will take significantly longer than white rice to cook, so plan accordingly.

– Abra Berens

Massaged Kale with Tomatoes, Creamed Mozzarella, and Wild Rice

Course Salads & Sides, Soups
Servings 1


  • 1 glug of olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine
  • 1 cup (180 g) wild rice, soaked overnight in 4 cups (1 L) water
  • 1 bunch kale (½ lb | 4 cups | 230 g), midribs stripped, well dried and cut into ¼-inch (6‑mm) ribbons
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella (8 oz | 230 g)
  • ¼ cup (60 g) sour cream
  • 1 lemon (1½ fl oz | 45 ml), zest and juice
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (1 lb | 455 g), halved


  1. Heat a glug of olive oil. Sweat the onion and garlic with the salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the wild rice and the soaking liquid and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sprinkle the kale with a pinch of salt. Massage the kale until it is dark green, limp, and tender in mouthfeel.
  3. Tear the mozzarella into rough chunks. Combine with the sour cream, lemon zest and juice, a good pinch of salt, and a couple of grinds of black pepper.
  4. When the wild rice is cooked, drain any residual liquid and let cool.
  5. Toss the tomatoes, kale, and wild rice together with a couple glugs of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Dot with creamed mozzarella and serve.
Keyword Healthy, Recipes, Vegetables

Check out more recipes, ideas, and tips from Abra Berens’ Ruffage Cookbook.