Kale Salad with Apple, Almond & Tahini Dressing

This mean green kale based recipe could be called "salad with the pomegranate seeds, yogurt and apple." Kale? It is is really little more than a vehicle supporting the crunchy and smooth textures of this lip-smacking powerhouse salad. Cook's secret. The sharp radish is an unexpected character that complements the more mellow apple taste and the tart flavor of the pomegranate seeds, while preventing the whole salad from being overly sweet. Tahini, the sauce that rules this decade, offers a smooth, creamy, nutty way to dress up what might otherwise be an awkward combination of ingredients. This salad is hearty enough to serve alongside a full bodied red wine for a light dinner. 

The jewel of winter, the pomegranate, dates back to 1000 B.C. Kale, a cold climate friendly vegetable, has nourished souls for more than 2000 years

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups kale, stemmed and finely shredded

1 large crisp eating apple, peeled and julienned

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

4 tablespoons sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1 watermelon radish, julienned (or substitute 4 French breakfast radishes)

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

3/4 teaspoon Aleppo or Maras pepper

Pita bread

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. In a small mixing bowl, let the garlic sit with the lemon juice for 5 minutes to mellow the garlic flavor.

3. Whisk in salt, tahini, yogurt, cumin, and olive oil. Continue to whisk until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Season with more salt to taste.

4. Using a pizza cutter, cut the each pita bread into an equal number of triangles. Lightly rub the surface with a small amount of olive oil and finish with a sprinkle of salt. Place on a half sheet baking tray and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly golden and toasted.

5. In another mixing bowl, combine the kale and radish with the dressing and stir continuously for about 30 seconds or until the kale is lightly but evenly coated with dressing. Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes to soften the kale. Stir in the apple, sesame seeds and almonds and mix until just incorporated throughout the salad. 

6. Divide the mixture into bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon (or more) of the pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle each salad with a tiny bit more Aleppo or Maras pepper.

7. Serve with the toasted pita bread.

SERVES 4 TO 6

Kitchen Notes

Flat leaf kale is easier to roll and slice into ribbons than its curly cousin. Today, the pips of pomegranates are easily found in supermarkets with the rough skin and pith already removed. No shame is saving time and clean up opting for this convenience.

 

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