Legacy of Passion

Massaged Broccoli Rabe Salad

Massaged Salad

Raw broccoli rabe, once massaged with a lemony, garlicky dressing, transforms into a delicious salad green. Be prepared to get your hands dirty for this one—for best results, use your fingers to tear the leaves apart and rub the dressing into the leaves. Then just toss in crisp celery, salty Parmesan, toasted sunflower seeds, and sweet dried cranberries.

Special diet notes: Omit the Parmesan for a vegan salad.

Recipe by Kathryne Taylor

Kate is the author of the vegetarian food blog Cookie and Kate, which was a finalist for Saveur’s “Best Cooking Blog” in 2012. Her partner in crime is Cookie, a cheerful mutt who does his best to clean up after Kate in the kitchen. She published her first cookbook, Love Real Food, a book of fresh, wholesome, sustainable vegetarian favorites.

Serves: 4
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 20 mins



  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe (about 2 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (about 3 ribs, chopped)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Massaged Salad Ingredients

1. Pull the broccoli rabe leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Wash and spin dry the leaves. Tear any large leaves into small, bite-sized pieces, then transfer the leaves to a large serving bowl. 

2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the sunflower seeds until they are fragrant and starting to turn lightly golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Massaged Salad Process

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and salt until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the leaves and gently massage the dressing into the leaves until they are lightly coated and the salad has almost halved in size.

Massaged Salad

4. Add the chopped celery, grated Parmesan, toasted sunflower seeds and dried cranberries to the serving bowl. Toss again and serve immediately.

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