Friday, February 19, 2016

Kale and Tomato Salad with Tahini Dressing

Todd jokes that soon after we started dating he walked into my King Henry apartment and I was sitting at the counter eating a Cafe Rio salad that looked big enough to feed a small family.  I remember that day perfectly.  He learned early on that I can eat with the best of them. 

Today at lunch we sat across the counter from each other, him with his peanut butter and honey sandwich and me with my kale salad.  He sarcastically told me that my salad was really small.  Haha!  He then reminded me again of the giant Cafe Rio salad.

I love kale salads, like really love!  I'm pretty sure that Todd thinks I'm crazy for having cravings for them.  I told him last night that after I ate this salad for lunch (yesterday) that a couple hours later I was wishing I had some more.  I was feeling pretty pumped that I had enough leftovers for today and I loved eating every bite (even if it was big enough to feed a small family). ;)

Kale and Tomato Salad with Tahini Dressing

1 large bunch lacinato kale, ribs removed, washed and finely chopped
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
A pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 avocado, cut into chunks or slices (personal preference)
1/4 cup sweet and spicy sunflower seeds (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Place kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with a pinch or two of kosher salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Massage the kale a bit until the leaves are darker and fragrant. Think scrunch and release.  This helps the kale be not so tough and more palatable.  Place in refrigerator until ready to dress.

For the sun dried tomatoes, drain off any excess oil and pulse through a food processor for a chunky texture or mince very fine.  Set aside.

Tahini Dressing
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons low sodium tamari
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoon water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar and give it a good shake.

Sweet and Spicy Sunflower Seeds
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
Heaping 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and toast sunflower seeds until just fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the salt, cayenne, and brown sugar and toss them around until the sugar is hot enough to stick to the seeds, 8-10 minutes.  Place sunflower seeds on a piece of parchment paper and spread out in a single layer to cool.

To prepare the salad, drizzle the massaged kale with a big spoonful or two of the tahini dressing.  Next, add cherry tomatoes and a spoonful of the chunky sundried tomatoes to the kale and toss until combined and ingredients are evenly distributed.  Taste and adjust seasoning adding more dressing, salt, and/or pepper if needed.

Plate your salad as you with and top with avocado chunks/slices, sweet and spicy sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds, and a drizzle of the tahini dressing.  Serve.

*This was enough for me to eat for two lunches with leftover sunflower seeds and dressing. I like having seeds to toss on other salads so I just put the extras in a baggie and tossed them in my freezer.

*Because I knew I was going to have this salad for lunch the next day, I only used half of the ingredients the first day and the other half the following day instead of making one giant salad.

Recipe adapted slightly from

The sunflower seeds are from Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon

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