This post should be named, the best damn kale salad you’ll ever eat… but, I’ll let you be the judge! Excited to share this recipe with you all — this kale salad is SUCH a crowd pleaser and so easy to make! I had something very similar at at farm-to-table dinner here in CT and immediately knew I needed to try to recreate. If you haven’t tried Tahini before, you’re going to love it. It’s a paste made from sesame seeds that gives a smooth, creamy texture, so it’s beyond perfect for the kale. My Lebanese mother-in-law uses it in a ton of recipes (including hummus) but makes an extremely similar dressing. You can get Tahini at most grocery stores, but they also sell a really affordable and delicious one at Trader Joe’s — highly recommend! Other than that, the dressing is simple to make and the toppings can be swapped out for whatever you have on hand. Cucumber, olives, you can swap the cheese for feta. Oh, and definitely invest in an emulsion blender — I use mine ALL THE TIME to make dressings and marinades and it’s one of my favorite small kitchen appliances!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
2 bunches of kale (de-stemmed)
1 small package of cherry tomatoes, halved
5-6 radishes, sliced thin
Pecorino Romano cheese (or any kind of parmesan), shaved
For the dressing
2 tablespoons Tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper to taste
HOW TO MAKE
- Start out by de-stemming and washing the bunches of kale. You can use bagged kale as well, but I love using the bunches of kale — I feel like the leaves are bigger and heartier! I tear the leaves off the stems in pieces and give a very rough chop. Place the kale in a large serving bowl alone — you’re going to dress the kale only first!
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the radishes thin and then cut in half. I personally love the maverick cherry tomatoes for this salad which are all different colors and slightly sweeter, but regular cherry tomatoes work, too!
- Place a handful of croutons in a small ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin (or bottle of wine). You want some crumbs and some chunky pieces.
- To make the dressing, add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic to a container and use emulsion blender on low, pulse a few times to get all the ingredients blended. Add salt and pepper to taste and let stand to thicken.
- When ready to dress the kale, add a splash of water to the dressing (or more lemon juice) and give one final stir. Pour some of the dressing over the kale only — this is important! You need to massage the dressing into the kale to soften. Use your hands to do this, it’s by far the best method! Let sit for 5-10 mins or until kale wilts a bit.
- Add tomatoes, radishes, crushed croutons and sliced parmesan to the salad and pour remaining dressing on top.
- Enjoy room temp! Use as a side salad, it goes so well with my panko air-fryed chicken which I’ll be sharing next!