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Warm kale salad with tahini-ginger dressing and avocado

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Garden of Eating

(Read caption) Kale salad makes a great vegetarian dinner, or a simple side dish for grilled chicken or steak.

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My friend Julia's latest blog post was about this dressing – tahini, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, sambal oelek, honey, and rice vinegar – a magical combination of salty, sweet, and spicy that made me hungry just reading about it even though it was only 8 a.m. and I'd just eaten breakfast.

It sounded really good so I made a jar of the stuff first thing in the morning. It wasn't hard and left me with ginger-scented fingertips which I like, unlike garlic-scented fingertips which I do not enjoy hence my heavy reliance on the garlic press, something purists probably deplore. Fortunately, I am not a purist.

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I had neither sambal oelek nor tamari in the house so I substituted sriracha and soy sauce for them with excellent results. I put it in the fridge to let the flavors develop all day. I love these working jars with lids – they're so useful and I like the look of them, too.

Recommended:22 recipes using kale

Then I used it to make a delicious kale salad for dinner. And the leftovers played a starring role in the world's most satisfying rice bowl the next day for lunch.

The salad is pretty easy – you blanch the kale for a bit in boiling water then drain it and toss it with a generous helping of the dressing until everything is thoroughly coated. 

Slice a perfectly ripe avocado over it, and drizzle with toasted sesame seeds and a sprinkle of sea salt. The flavors are amazing. And it's really good for you, so there's that, too.

Kale salad with tahini ginger dressing & avocado
Serves 4-6

For the dressing

1/4 cup oil (grapeseed, sunflower, or safflower)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (I only had soy so I used that)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or sriracha (you can use more if you like it hotter – I'm wimpy about heat)
1 tablespoon honey
1 large garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

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For the salad

2 bunches organic kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Sprinkle of sea salt
Few grinds of white pepper

1. Make the dressing as far ahead of time as you can – it improves with age. Mix all the ingredients together and stir or shake to combine then taste it and adjust the flavors as needed until you're happy.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil then submerge the greens for 2-3 minutes until softened. Remove and drain, then toss hot with the dressing, stirring well to coat all the kale evenly. Slice the avocado over the top and sprinkle liberally with the sesame seeds, a little sea salt and a few grinds of white pepper. Serve warm.

Related post on Garden of Eating: Lemony Kale Salad with Avocado-Coconut Dressing

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