Greek Kale Salad with Creamy Tahini Dressing

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This healthy Greek kale salad recipe is full of bold Mediterranean flavors. It packs great for lunch, too. Recipe yields 2 large meal-sized servings, or 4 medium side salads.


Kale salad

  • 1 medium bunch of curly green kale (about 8 ounces = 230 grams)
  • Fine sea salt (use Himalaya salt)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup thinly sliced Kalamata olives and/or roughly chopped pepper rings
  • ⅓ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and drained (no need to rinse and drain, the oil suites well for the sallad)
  • ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan (optional) (leave out to be Seitan friendly!)
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (not needed, enough oil in tomatoes)

Creamy tahini dressing

  • 1⁄4 cup tahini (ca 60 ml = 4 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 1 ½ lemons) (Replace with apple cider vinegar to be Seitan friendly!) (added 8, might need more! Don’t add water until you’ve added enough vinegar.)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard (leave out to be Seitan friendly!)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt (use Himalaya salt)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. To prepare the salad:
    1. Place the chopped kale in a large serving bowl.
    2. Sprinkle it lightly with salt and massage it with your hands by scrunching up large handfuls at a time until it’s darker and more fragrant (this makes the kale more tasty and easier to eat).
    3. Add the chickpeas, olives and/or pepper rings, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan (if using).
    4. Set aside.
  2. To toast the sunflower seeds, combine the seeds with the olive oil and a few dashes of salt in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the seeds are fragrant and turning lightly golden at the edges, about 5 minutes. Pour the toasted seeds into the salad bowl.
  3. To prepare the salad dressing:
    1. In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the tahini, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and salt.
    2. Whisk until blended.
    3. It will become very tough, so add the water and whisk until blended.
    4. Season generously with freshly black pepper, to taste.
  4. Pour the dressing into the salad (you might not need quite all of it, but I did). Toss until the salad is evenly coated with dressing. Serve immediately. This salad keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.


MAKE IT DAIRY FREE/VEGAN: Omit the Parmesan. You might like a light sprinkle of nutritional yeast to make up for it.

Thoughts and comments

Used chana dal instead of chickpeas – ok choice.
Used only half of the dressing – a matter of taste, the salad felt very filling already with the half of the dressing.
The salad IS filling. Can be perfectly used as a whole lunch. If you’re looking for a light and fresh feeling salad, this salad is not it.
Could try to add some fresh tomatoes to make the salad feel more light, if desired.
Need more garlic, especially if you’re using only half of the dressing.
Needs MUCH more apple cider vinegar (if you like sour salads). I added 8 tbsp to the dressing (of which I used half), but then poured quite a lot (3-4 tbsp?)  into the salad itself.

A lot of preparations – need to optimize.
Chana Dal or Chickpeas can be cooked in advance in a larger quantity and kept separately.
Tomatoes, peppers, olives can be chopped and mixed in advance in a larger quantity and kept separately.
The dressing can be prepared in advance in a larger quantity and kept separately.


I chop everything rather coarsely to give more of a chunky feel to it.

On Piret’s recommendation I also add Jalapeños, very delicious! And since I don’t like olives, I just skip them. Adding marinated garlic cloves is a great way to vary the salad a bit when desired.

Toasting the sunflower seeds can be done without any oil, just don’t forget them on the stove, they burn easily.

Adding extra Chana Dal and upping the size a bit makes it OK to skip the Seitan mix for a meal, making this a great travel food!

Mixing everything beforehand except the tahini dressing works out fine, the dressing can be added quickly when needed. I usually keep a large box of ready-made salad in the fridge, stays fresh for at least 5 days, and a smaller box of tahini dressing, stays fresh for at least a week.


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