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Kale Salad Recipe with Tahini Dressing

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start! Like many other people, I’m looking to eat a bit healthier in the new year. I’ve always considered my regular diet to be moderate and well-balanced. Keeping this tradition going strong is really my main eating goal of 2013. I plan to share an even better balance of healthy and tasty recipes with you.  We’ll start with this kale salad recipe.  It features several flavorful ingredients and a creamy tahini dressing.

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

This is actually the first time I’ve used kale in a recipe on this blog. I’ve cooked with it many times before but never really got around to formalizing any recipes. Kale is a delicious leafy green vegetable that’s packed with beta-carotene, Vitamins K & C and calcium plus so much more. It’s considered a super food because it’s nutrient dense. Here I’ve used Lacinato kale, a variety of kale that hails from Italy and is commonly found in US grocery stores.

Lacinato Kale

I’ve been going crazy over English cucumbers lately. I just can’t seem to get enough of them. English cucumbers are the cucumbers you see at the grocery store in the plastic wrap. I really like them because they have little to no seeds in them and the skin is very tender, which means the whole cucumber is edible. Typically, I don’t like the seeds and skins on “regular” cucumbers because they can be difficult to digest. English cucumbers are cultivated to be eaten top to bottom, and for me, they are the perfect cucumber.

English Cucumber

While the kale and cucumber are very healthy and delicious, this salad is in need of some flavor boosters so I’ve added in kalamata olives, roasted garlic and green onion. The olives and roasted garlic provide a salty and flavorful contrast to the kale and cucumber. The green onion provides a pleasant crunchiness and flavor dimension that onions give to salads and cold dishes.

Salad Ingredients

Finally, every salad is in need of some protein and a tasty dressing. Both of these are well-represented with our tahini dressing. Tahini is made from sesame seeds so it’s got protein as well as healthy fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. I’ve also added lemon juice, fresh garlic, salt and parsley to the dressing for a tasty flavor boost. The dressing is also very easy to make: simply add all ingredients to a tall narrow container and combine with an immersion blender – done and done.

Tahini Dressing

This salad is delicious as is or if you’d like to make it a more hearty meal, you can add grilled chicken or shrimp. Chicken marinated in lemon juice and olive oil would be especially tasty. In my Greek Salad recipe, I include a marinade recipe and grilling directions for perfect stove-top grilled chicken. Delish! But if you’d rather stay vegan with this recipe, eat it as is. This recipe can make one huge salad for two lunch-sized salads.

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Now that you’re hungry, on to the recipe!

Yield: 2 lunch salads

Kale Salad Recipe with Tahini Dressing

This kale salad is packed with flavor - kalamata olives, English cucumber, roasted garlic and green onions. It's finished with a creamy tahini dressing. A healthy and delicious meal!

Ingredients:

Tahini Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Salad:
  • 6 cups lacinato kale, cut into 1/4" strips
  • 1 1/2 cups quartered English cucumber (about half a cucumber)
  • 1/2 cup quartered kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion bottoms
  • 1/3 cup Tahini Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted garlic (from the olive bar at the grocery store)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Method:

  1. First prepare the Tahini Dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a tall narrow container and blend until smooth with an immersion blender.
  2. Next, in a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients listed in the salad section.
  3. Finally, serve salad immediately for best quality and taste.

If dressing and kale are kept separate from remaining ingredients, these ingredients can keep for 3-5 days in the fridge in air tight containers. The extra tahini dressing will keep for two weeks in an air tight container in the fridge.

Prep:25 minutes

Total:25 minutes

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