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Kale Salad with Dates, Pistachios and Green Tahini

6 Servings

45 minutes 25 minutes active

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Green tahini is a popular variation on a basic tahini sauce. It’s made by blending parsley (and sometimes other leafy herbs) into tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic and salt. The herbs tint the sauce green while also balancing the sesame’s nutty, slightly bitter flavor with fresh, grassy notes. For this hearty salad, we make a green tahini enriched with olive oil and honey to create a dressing that nicely coats sliced kale and complements its assertive, minerally taste. For pops of contrasting flavor and texture, we toss chopped dates and roasted pistachios into the mix. Unlike salads made with delicate greens, many kale salads, including this one, benefit from standing for a few minutes after dressing; this allows the leaves to wilt slightly and soften for better texture when eating. Greens like kale can be off-puttingly tough. One way to soften kale is to thinly slice it and then let it soak for a few minutes in an acidic mixture—such as this lime-juice-spiked tahini dressing—which acts as a tenderizer.

Tenderize Tough Greens with Acid
Raw greens like kale can be off-puttingly tough. One way to soften kale is to thinly slice it and then let it soak for a few minutes in an acidic mixture—such as this lime-juice-spiked tahini dressing—which acts as a tenderizer.




Don’t use bagged pre-cleaned kale, as it tends to lack freshness. It also contains a lot of tough, fibrous stems. Lacinato kale, also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale, is best.

45 minutes

25 minutes active


  • ½

    small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2

    tablespoons plus ¼ cup lime juice


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Tyler B.
June 27, 2022
Best kale salad
There are so many kale salads out there and this one really is a cut above. The delicious dressing with enough delightful bits to dig for, this salad won't disappoint.
Amy T.
November 5, 2022
Rich salad
I've made this every fall for the last three years. It is very satisfying and easily is a meal on its own, although I eat it with canned tuna on the side and the flavors go well together. The only change is I use about half the amount of pistachios and dates.
Anat B.

This was really great. Organic curly kale was on super sale so I used that and skipped the sesame seeds at the end because I forgot about them, and we didn’t miss them one bit. We adjusted the dressing to taste with one more tablespoon of lime juice and a touch more salt and it improved it quite a bit! I can’t wait to make it again.

Beth M.

Wow! My husband and I devoured this. He hates raw onions and probably kale. This was an amazing salad. I would not change a thing. I have also made the Smokey Kale Salad which I also love but this was really interesting and the flavor profile was so fun.

Amy T.

Great salad. I've been eating it continuously since the recipe was first posted. I've run out of pistachios, so now I'm using toasted pepitas and it still tastes great.

Michael Y.

This is delicious. It's also quite filling so it could even be a light dinner with some bread or something.

Scott P.

This is one of the tastiest salads out there, the ingredients well-proportioned. And dressed kale does hold up better the next day than, say, romaine.

Antonia F.

I liked this enough to make it twice. The first time the flavors seemed muted, but on the second round I used 50% less tahini and oil in the dressing. Really made the whole thing so much more interesting. Also waited to add water until after the rest of the dressing was thoroughly blended. The herbs were still damp from rinsing, so that added some moisture.

Lori O.

This salad is addictive, a crazy good combination of ingredients. The first time I made it I added all the dressing and it was way too much and heavy. I realized the second time through that 2 bunches of lacinato kale is only yielding about 8 cups instead of 12 so used less dressing second time around and thought it was just right.

Christine D.

I've made a lot of great dishes from this site, but this is one of the BEST! And for sure the best kale salad I have ever had/made. Wow!