I’ve been obsessed with this salad for the last week or so. Like really, totally, completely, ridiculously obsessed.
And let me be the first to say that I have never been obsessed with eating anything green and leafy. I mean, yeah, I love me some green monsters, but that’s ’cause they taste like peanut butter. Or coffee. Or bananas (my other vegetation infatuation). But nary a once have I caught myself day dreaming about kale.
And let me preface this by saying I don’t like raw bitter greens. I prefer to use spinach in my green monsters, and have previously only enjoyed kale when cooked with cheese and chorizo, or baked into chips. Raw…not so much.
However, I finally decided to take a leap of faith and try making kale salad the way food bloggers have said I should for generations (…okay, the last year or so). By making it with a simple dressing that I want to eat with a spoon, and letting it sit for a half-hour or so until those weedy, tough greens become tender. And delectable. And until I’m surprised to find myself scraping the bottom of the bowl, wishing I had another leaf or two to get at the last of that dressing.
But I wax poetic.
This salad was inspired by Angela of Oh She Glows, and by golly, she’s got it right. I let the dressing speak for itself, with only one add-in (for protein and staying power: lentils), but you can add whatever the ach-ee-double-hockey-sticks you want.
Kale Salad with a Tahini-Lemon Dressing
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 C tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/2 C lemon juice (about two lemons)
- 1 T lemon zest
- 1 t salt
- 2 T water (or more to thin as needed)
Combine all the above ingredients in a food processor (I used the mini version for easier clean up), and process until smooth.
I also doubled this recipe and kept it in a jar in the fridge to make the salad fresh every day (like I said…obsessed).
To put together the salad, you need:
- 3-4 handfuls kale (I buy a cheap yet humongous bag of organic washed and chopped kale at BJs for $1.99–by far the best deal I’ve seen, and it lasts forever)
- 1/2 C lentils (see below for cooking instructions)
- Tahini-lemon dressing to taste (I probably used around 1/4 C for an individual salad)
When making a kale salad, it’s a good idea to not eat all the big fat stems–I just rip ’em out and toss ’em. Totally bitter, friends.
Combine the chopped kale and the dressing together and give it a really hearty mix. You can get right in there with your hands and massage the dressing into the leaves if you like, which makes them wilt a bit and takes away a lot of that bitterness right away. A serious toss with a spoon will work just as well, too. You’ll also be surprised at how much kale can go into this salad–letting it marinate in the dressing basically “cooks” it down, so there’s a lot less volume of kale at the end than there is at the beginning. Stick the kale and dressing into a bowl, cover it, and let it sit for 15 minutes to a half hour before eating.
I’m not gonna lie–I combined the kale and dressing in the morning and let it sit in the fridge until noon at work. Still delicious–kale is hearty, so it won’t get too wilty, slimy, and gross.
To make the lentils, combine 1 C dry lentils with 2 C low-sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer until they are tender and the broth is absorbed. I just left a container of these in the fridge all week to add to whatever meal I could. Great way to get in some protein and fiber–and it tastes great with the lemony, garlicky dressing.
Know why I like this dressing so much? It’s like hummus, just without the chickpeas.
And I also love, love, luuuve hummus.
Which would probably also be delicious dolloped on top of this salad.
Seriously–if you doubt your kale eating abilities but would like to expand your green repertoire, try this method of making kale salads.
Truly delicious and amazingly yummy. Has a nice lemony bite with the warm sesame undertone.
Have you massaged your kale lately?