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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.