Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sesame Kale Salad

If you follow me on Facebook, you know by now that I am in love with kale.  I talk about it all the time! I finally got up the nerve to try raw kale again (after my first experience with raw kale salad, which was, shall we say, uninspiring).  And boy am I glad I did!  I bought a package of pre-washed kale with shredded red cabbage and carrots, and made the simple vinaigrette recipe listed on the back.  Fantastic!  But I love to tinker, and I made what I think is a perfect intro to raw kale salad for those who've never had it.

If you can find it, pre-washed and prepared, packaged kale is a great way to go.  Trader Joe's always has it, as does Whole Foods, and probably other health food grocery stores.  If not, buy one large bunch of kale, or two if they are small.  To prepare it, fold each leaf in half and tear the leaf off the tough stem.  (You can eat the stems, but they are very fibrous and will give your jaw a workout!)  Wash well, once or twice, especially if it's curly kale - dirty kale is yucky!  You can use a veggie peeler on the carrots to get thin slivers and a knife to chop the cabbage finely, or just use a food processor, if you have one.  You don't want to shred them like in coleslaw, though - this is a chewy, satisfying salad.

The secret to the dressing is tahini.  Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds, and is key in making your own hummus.  It's a nice thing to have around, and keeps in the fridge for a long time.  Otherwise, you probably have everything else you need.  Ready for raw kale salad?  This recipe will make you a believer!

Sesame Kale Salad


  • 1 bag prepared kale, or 2 small bunches kale, washed and torn into small pieces
  • 2 large carrots, or ten baby carrots, peeled and shredded or sliced very thinly
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage, sliced very thinly
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, honey, or other sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a very large bowl, or preferably a very very large Tupperware container with a lid, mix together the kale, carrots, cabbage and sesame seeds.
  2. In a small Tupperware container with a lid, mix together the remaining ingredients.  Shake it up!  Then pour over the salad.  If you are using a container with a lid, shake to combine.  Really move it around!  If you don't have a lid, toss well for a few minutes, or use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale.  The dressing will help soften up the kale.  Let the salad sit at room temperature or in the fridge for half an hour before serving.
This salad is so sturdy, it's good the next day - even TWO days later!  Try putting a dressed lettuce salad in the fridge and eating it a day later.  You won't like it.  This one is better the next day because the dressing penetrates the veggies and makes them chewy and delicious.

Also, try adding in some raisins or a chopped apple.  My husband likes chopped green onion mixed in too.

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