It’s been really hot here in San Diego, so we have been grilling and/or eating a lot of salads. I thought I would share with you all a very simple but delicious salad that I prepared last week. This salad made with tender baby kale, toasted pine nuts, parmigiano-reggiano and tahini lemon vinaigrette. If you think you don’t like kale give baby kale a try. The minerals and vitamins in raw kale are impressive. It’s loaded with vitamins K, A and C, as well as calcium and magnesium. Baby kale has a milder flavor than mature kale, the stalks have just a nice bit of crunch but the leaves are still peppery. I love to make salad dressings from scratch and avoid all of the preservatives and high sugar content that is found in most of the store-bought variety. For my dressing, I mixed tahini with fresh squeezed lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, a bit of garlic, smoked sweet paprika and some agave nectar for sweetness. With just a few ingredients, this salad manages to hit all of the notes a good salad should have and it gets even better in the fridge overnight.
- Baby kale, 2-3 generous handfuls
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons finally grated Permigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup unsalted toasted pine nuts
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings, for garnish (use vegetable peeler)
For Tahini-Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon filtered water
- In a salad bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add the baby kale and toss well to coat.
- Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes.
- Add the grated cheese and toss again. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and garnish with the cheese shavings before serving.