Simple Kale Salad

This image courtesy of Del Nakamura

Kale is packed with calcium and iron, so it's a wonderful green to incorporate into your diet. Switch out the tomatoes and seeds called for in the recipe with whatever veggies and protein sources that are comparable in color and available in your area. Here, we've paired this hardy yet simple salad with our creamy Tahini Dressing (recipe follows), but it's also delicious with Chicago Diner Vegan Ranch Dressing or our House Balsamic Vinaigrette . Be sure you put the salad together about half a day before serving, because the kale leaves will need to soften from contact with the dressing.

NotesCooks' Note: If you use roasted tahini, you'll need to use more water than you would with raw tahini. The amount of water really varies depending on the brand of tahini you choose, so just try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

You may substitute lime in any recipe that calls for lemon.

6 side salads



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecreamy, crunchy

Type of Dishsalad


  • 1 bunch organic kale
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into cubes (about 2 cups [380 g])
  • 1/4 cup (38 g) finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup (47 g) hemp or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup (119 mL) Tahini Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 2/3 cup (165 g) tahini (raw or roasted)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup (59 mL) plus 1 tablespoon water, or as needed


  1. 1.?Rinse the kale and pat it dry with a paper towel. Remove the kale stalks, tear the leaves into half inch pieces, and dry in a salad spinner to wick away any excess moisture. Massage the leaves gently to bring out their full color and nutrients.

  2. 2.?In a large serving bowl, combine the kale, tomatoes, red onion, and seeds and toss well.

  3. 3.?Add the Tahini Dressing 4 to 6 hours before serving in order to soften the leaves. Toss well and store in the refrigerator until serving. Serve in small bowls.

  4. Cooks' Note: Use other veggies as they are seasonally available. Try to maintain a color variety for aesthetic and nutritional balance.

  5. 1.?In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the water.

  6. 2.?Slowly add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, while whisking constantly. Keep in mind that Tahini Dressing thickens over time, so you may want to add a little more water than you initially think. Add the water until you feel the dressing has reached the right consistency and taste for your needs. Use immediately or store in a jar for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving after storage.


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