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Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

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This flavorful crunchy Mediterranean kale salad with tahini dressing is as delicious as it is hearty and healthy. Loaded with crisp romaine and kale, crunchy radishes, creamy feta cheese, and drizzled with a creamy tahini Caesar dressing it is wonderfully tasty without being too heavy. Try it for lunch, as a side salad, or even as a satisfying vegetarian dinner salad!

Green bowl of salad with a blend of kale and romaine salad with a jar of tahini dressing in the background
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THE BEST KALE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING

Crunchy kale salad with tahini dressing has long been my go-to favorite salad from a local restaurant we frequent. It is the perfect blend of crispy romaine and kale greens, tossed with chickpeas and veggies. The salad is sprinkled with feta cheese, and drizzled with a luscious and tangy tahini Caesar dressing.

This salad is so good, that I decided I simply had to replicate the recipe to make at home. My version of Greek kale salad with creamy tahini dressing is hearty enough to enjoy for lunch or dinner.

Plus, the salad recipe is great to customize with whatever produce you have in your drawer. You’ll have a unique and delicious twist every time you make the salad.

Prepare yummy kale crunch salad with roasted sweet potatoes in the fall. Or chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the summer. And, pomegranate seeds are fun to add year round for a burst of tart and sweet goodness.

Be sure to check out my Chicken Cobb with Green Goddess dressing, too. It’s a delicious, dairy-free and gluten-free salad that is perfect dinner in spring and summer evenings.

What is Tahini?

Tahini made from grinding roasted sesame seeds into a paste. A good quality tahini paste is a real treat for the tastebuds, boasting a subtly-sweet and nutty roasted flavor with a well-balanced hint of bitterness on the finish.

Although it has a similar taste, tahini is thinner in consistency than peanut butter. Not only is it tasty, but two tablespoons of tahini provides 8 grams of protein. That makes it ideal as a salad dressing ingredient, especially for a hearty leaf such as kale.

Where to find tahini

I buy my favorite brand of organic tahini from Wal-mart or Amazon. This makes it really convenient to add it to my regular grocery pickup or order online when I need a new bottle of it. As a bonus, this organic tahini comes in a squeezable bottle and doesn’t require refrigeration.

Ingredients for crunchy kale salad kale, feta, romaine lettuce, salt and pepper, radishes, and tahini

what ingredients you need to make greek kale salad with creamy tahini dressing

For the base of this kale feta salad you need:

  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Feta cheese
  • Purple cabbage
  • Radishes

To make the sweet and savory tahini Caesar dressing you need:

Other optional ingredients you can include are pomegranate seeds, cubed and roasted sweet potatoes, canned chickpeas A.K.A. garbanzo beans, and crispy fried onions.

ingredients for creamy tahini dressing: tahini, avocado oil, lemon or lime, maple syrup, salt and pepper

How to soften kale for the best salad

Kale is often overlooked as a salad green because it can be a bit tough and chewy. This simple trick shows you how to soften kale so it’s as tender as romaine lettuce…

After chopping the kale, add it to a salad bowl. Using your clean hands as a scoop, scoop up the kale and slide your hands in opposite directions to massage the kale. This simple massaging action is what actually softens the kale by bruising the surface of the leaves.

Another benefit of this quick extra step to soften the kale helps it to absorb the dressing evenly throughout the salad. Plus, it gives you a chance to pick out any of the kale stems that remain.

Watch this video to see how easy it is to massage kale to soften it for salad:

below you’ll find the full kale crunch salad with tahini caesar dressing recipe!

Tips for how to assemble Kale feta Salad

Once you’ve chopped and massaged the kale, add to a large salad bowl (my favorite bowl shown above, is linked) along with chopped romaine lettuce. Top with crumbled feta cheese, shredded red (purple) cabbage, sliced radishes, and any other goodies you like such as pomegranate seeds, roasted bits of sweet potato, garbanzo beans, or crispy fried onions.

If you’re preparing this as a make ahead salad, I recommend that you leave off the garnishes and the dressing until you’re ready to serve.

How to make Tahini Dressing

To make the sesame seed dressing you can use a small blender, and immersion blender, or even just a whisk.

Combine all ingredients, except for the water, and whisk or mix until well blended. Add the water and blend again to completely emulsify the dressing. The tahini Caesar dressing should be creamy and pourable.

When ready to enjoy, add the homemade dressing to the kale crunch salad and toss to coat.

Adding tahini salad dressing to the kale salad

serving suggestions

Serve Mediterranean kale crunch salad with pan seared chicken or chicken piccata for a healthy, low calorie, keto friendly dinner.

As a main dish, pair Greek kale salad with creamy tahini dressing with slices of pita bread, old fashioned yeast rolls, or easy 3 ingredient biscuits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use in place of tahini? I can’t find it in my store.

Suitable substitutions for tahini paste are sunflower seed butter, almond or cashew butter, or peanut butter.

We don’t like the texture of kale, what can I use instead?

Some people don’t like the texture of kale because it hasn’t been properly massages to make the leaves tender. To swap out the kale in this recipe, I would use baby spinach or all romaine lettuce.

My tahini dressing is too thick. How can I thin it out?

For a nice tang, add more lemon or lime juice, or to keep the flavor the same, use 1-2 Tablespoons of water.

here’s the complete kale feta salad recipe:

Green bowl of salad with a blend of kale and romaine salad with a jar of tahini dressing in the background
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Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

This kale salad with tahini dressing is delicious, hearty and healthy. With feta cheese and a wonderfully creamy tahini Caesar dressing it's the perfect salad any season of the year.
Course Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword Dinner, Easy Dinner, Lunch, Salads
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 225kcal

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients

  • 4 cups (10-12 oz) kale, chopped (I prefer the lacinato or flat leafed kale)
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup purple (red) cabbage, shredded
  • 3 radishes, scrubbed and thinly sliced

optional garnishes

  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato cubes, roasted
  • 1/2 cup chick peas or garbanzo beans
  • 2 Tbsp crispy onions

Tahini Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (can substitute extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Salad

  • Add kale to salad bowl and massage the kale (see video and instructions "how to soften kale" in notes). Top with romaine lettuce and toss to combine the greens together. Layer remaining salad ingredients, including optional garnishes.
  • As a make-ahead salad, leave out the optional sweet potatoes and onions until serving. Store in a sealed container for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.

Tahini Dressing

  • I use a small blender or emersion blender to mix the salad dressing, but you can use a whisk and small bowl.
  • Mix together oil, tahini, lime juice, mustard, and syrup then whisk or blend until they are well blended. Then add the cold water and blend together until emulsified. The mixture should be creamy, but pourable.
  • Covered dressing will keep for about 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

How to soften kale:
After chopping the kale, add it to a salad bowl. Using your clean hands as a scoop, scoop up the kale and slide your hands in opposite directions to massage the kale. This simple massaging action is what actually softens the kale by bruising the surface of the leaves. 
Another benefit of this quick extra step to soften the kale helps it to absorb the dressing evenly throughout the salad. Plus, it gives you a chance to pick out any of the kale stems that remain.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7545IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 2mg

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