Tahini Mint Kale Salad
5 from 4 votes

This tahini mint kale salad features a refreshing, green dressing that’s made with a tahini base. It’s sweet, savory, tangy, and minty—plus, it’s so simple to make!

A white, rimmed salad plate has been piled with kale, chickpeas, raisins, and a creamy, tahini-based dressing.

This tahini mint kale salad didn’t begin as a salad. It began as a dressing.

I had been making batch after batch of my delightfully green tahini dressing, loving it each time. I wondered what it might be like to swap some of the parsley in that dressing for mint instead.

As it turns out, this small change makes a big difference! The addition of mint gives it a whole new character and freshness.

I’ll do just about anything with a good batch of tahini dressing: use it as a dip, drizzle it onto my lunch bowls, pour it onto my favorite grain and green skillet meals. But I especially love to use it in a kale salad. This tahini mint kale salad is simple and allows the dressing to be the star of the show. However, chickpeas play a supporting role, adding plant protein, while currants or raisins add a pleasant touch of sweetness.

Why tahini is my favorite dressing base

I eat a lot of salad and make a lot of dressings. But when it comes to salad dressing, tahini dressing is my number one.

Tahini is a wonderful dressing base. It’s got a very mildly bitter flavor that actually compliments the acid in dressings well. It’s creamy and luxurious, so it’s perfect for coating all sorts of leafy greens.

Best of all, tahini is full of solid nutrition. A two-tablespoon serving is a good source of both iron and calcium. It’s also a good source of other minerals, including copper, zinc, and phosphorus.

The fats in tahini are largely monounsaturated fats, which are some of the “good” fats associated with heart health. And tahini dressings, in comparison with oil-based vinaigrettes, deliver small amounts of protein and fiber with each serving.

An angled photograph of a white salad plate with a white rim. It holds a plant based green salad with chickpeas and raisins.

How to make tahini mint kale salad

The process of making this tahini mint kale salad is quite straightforward.

You’ll start by blending up the tahini mint dressing. I like to use a high-speed blender for this, though a food processor will also work well.

Once blended, you’ll pour the dressing over your kale. Use some intuition here: you want to add as much dressing as you need to coat the kale well, but you don’t want to drown the salad, either. It’s OK if a little dressing is leftover (you can always add it to a whole grain dish or a bowl). The amount of dressing you need will vary a bit depending on how big your bunch of kale is.

Next, you’ll “massage” the tahini mint dressing into your kale, using your hands. If “massaging” kale sounds odd to you, here’s a little more information! Essentially, you’re working the dressing into the kale in a way that softens the kale leaves. More pressure is good—think of it as TLC for your salad.

Finally, you’ll toss your chickpeas and raisins (or currants) into the salad and mix everything well. At this point, the tahini mint kale salad is ready to eat.

Serving tahini mint kale salad

I think that the tahini mint kale salad makes a lovely side dish. It’s especially good as an accompaniment to any Middle Eastern inspired meal. Here are some dishes that I like to serve it with:

Storage and make-ahead options

One of the nice things about this tahini mint kale salad (and kale salads in general) is that it will keep well in leftover form. Kale is a sturdier green than the baby greens and lettuces that are often used in salad, giving its leftovers a relatively long life.

The tahini mint kale salad leftovers will last for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge. The dressing can also be prepared a few days ahead of salad assembly. The tahini mint dressing will keep for up to five days total. It can be frozen for up to six weeks.

More kale salad recipes

If you love the tahini mint kale salad and want to expand on your kale salad options, there are so many to explore! Here are a few of my favorite kale salad recipes from the blog:

A white serving plate, piled high with greens, raisins, and legumes, rests on a white surface.
A white, rimmed salad plate has been piled with kale, chickpeas, raisins, and a creamy, tahini-based dressing.
5 from 4 votes

Tahini Mint Kale Salad

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Tahini Mint Dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons tahini
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 small pitted date (substitute 2 teaspoons maple syrup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves

Tahini Mint Kale Salad:

  • 1 batch tahini mint dressing
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, stemmed, washed, dried, and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins or currants
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 14.5-ounce can, drained and rinsed)

Instructions

  • To make the dressing, blend all ingredients together in a powerful blender till smooth. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
  • Place the greens in a large mixing bowl. Pour on as much dressing as you need to "massage" the kale and coat it well with the dressing. Use your hands to massage the kale firmly, until the greens are softened and covered in dressing.
  • Add the chickpeas and currants to the dressed kale. Toss to combine, then add an additional tablespoon or two of dressing, as needed. Use any leftover tahini mint dressing on grain bowls or as a dip. Serve or store the salad.
A close-up photograph of a tahini mint kale salad, which is studded with cooked chickpeas and raisins.

I’m loving the fresh, verdant flavor of this dressing. I rely on the tahini mint kale salad in warmer months, but it’s also a lovely staple in the wintertime! Kale is an ingredient that I’m able to source locally year-round, and chickpeas and raisins are always in my pantry.

Mint and lemon are just the right flavors to brighten and add sunshine to any day, at any time of year. I hope you’ll enjoy this versatile side dish as much as I do.

xo

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    6 Comments
  1. I recently read that kale is among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! That’ll do me! Great recipe Gena, thanks.

  2. I just made the dressing. I have the salad ingredients, but can imagine this on so much more! Probably will also dress up my sweet potatoes nicely.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Ooo, perfect! My neighbor has a big pot of mint growing and he doesn’t know what to use it for. I have a small patch of parsley. A perfect match. Thank you so much. I love kale salad and this dressing will make it just a bit special and different.