Hardy greens, such as kale and cabbage, can be excellent in salads, but their fibrous leaves can be unpleasantly tough when raw. So we use a handful of simple techniques to quickly tenderize them.

For loose-leaf greens, such as kale or collards, we like to thinly slice the greens, reducing them to tender filaments. First cut out any tough stems running down the center of the leaves. Then stack them, roll them like a cigar, and slice finely with a sharp chef’s knife.

With cabbage, it’s easier to cut the head into quarters, core them, then slice the wedges. We use the food processor with Brussels sprouts, which then make great slaws.

Another technique borrows a lesson from sauerkraut, recipes for which often call for tossing sliced cabbage with salt, sometimes rubbing it in. The salt draws out moisture, while a massage breaks down the plant’s cell walls. This makes the firm, raw leaves supple and easy to chew. It works equally well with kale.

In fact, this technique can be used with any coarse ingredient rubbed into the leaves, such as chopped nuts or panko breadcrumbs, which soften greens while adding crunch.

Finally, when making salads with hardy greens, we often opt for an acidic dressing, such as a vinaigrette or something citrus juice-based. The acidity further tenderizes the leaves and adds bright flavors, a nice contrast to the robust greens.