Citrus Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Savor the flavors of this citrus kale salad filled with sliced almonds, avocado, golden raisins, and Mandarin oranges. To top it off, this salad is tossed with an oil-free lemon tahini dressing! Get your forks ready—this salad is delicious!

Mediterranean Kale Salad fully made an up close to the camera.

Dig into this citrus kale salad with an extra lemony tahini dressing that is also oil-free. Inspired by the flavors and textures of the Mediterranean, I aimed to create a salad that dazzled with individuality!

I love how the salad mixes crunchy almonds and sunflower seeds with the bursts of sweetness from the Mandarin oranges and golden raisins! To top this salad, I created an extra lemony tahini dressing. The extra lemon lightens the tahini flavor, giving the dressing a brightness. This dressing is also oil-free.

To add extra Mediterranean flair, try serving this salad with Turkish stuffed grape leaves on top!

Mediterranean kale salad up close with a fork by it.

Citrus Kale Salad Basics

EASE: Super Easy
CUISINE: Mediterranean Inspired
COURSE: Lunch or Dinner
TIME: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

Ingredients used in making this recipe.
  • Almonds: I added the almonds to add texture and flavor.
  • Avocado: Adds a creamy richness that only avocado can!
  • Golden Raisins: Provide a sweet touch to balance out the bitterness of kale.
  • Kale: is the base of this salad. It is a rich vegetable filled with nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.
  • Lemon: The fresh flavor of lemon balances out the heavy flavor of tahini.
  • Mandarins (Cuties): I like to add fruit to kale salads to round out the flavor and texture. Mandarinas are the perfect bite-sized fruit that adds a fresh, juicy flavor.
  • Red Onion: Are added to the salad for their sharp flavor and bright color.
  • Tahini: Is a Mediterranean staple made from ground sesame seeds. Its creamy texture makes it the perfect oil-free salad dressing.

Tip: Always take a minute to massage the kale. I know it sounds weird, but it makes a world of difference with the texture!

Personalize This Recipe

  • Almonds: Substitute almonds with pistachios or toasted pine nuts to keep the Mediterian flair of this salad.
  • Crunch Chickpeas: For added texture and the perfect crunch, sprinkle crispy chickpeas on top of the salad!
  • Golden Raisins: Feel free to substitute with your favorite dried fruit. My favorites with this salad are crasins, cherries, or apricots.
  • Mandarines (Cuties): To get the same fresh burst of flavor, try using red or green grapes instead of mandarines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can use other types of kale, such as Lacinato (also known as dinosaur kale) or red kale.

Of course! I want you to enjoy this salad, and if that means substituting the dressing, please do!

Prepare the kale beforehand, but add the toppings and dressing before serving. This will keep the almonds and seeds crisp and the avocado bright.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container or tight plastic wrap in the refrigerator. The kale salad will stay well for 1-2 days. However, the avocado will be slightly brown. 

Dressing being poured on top the salad.

Did you make this? Leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out!

Mediterranean kale salad up close with a fork by it.

Citrus Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini

Savor the flavors of this citrus kale salad filled with sliced almonds, avocado, golden raisins, and Mandarin oranges. To top it off, this salad is tossed with an oil-free lemon tahini dressing! Get your forks ready—this salad is delicious!
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Course: All Day
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 2 large salads
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 sharp knive
  • 1 cuting board
  • 1 Medium bowl

Ingredients

Mediterranean Inspired Kale Salad

  • 2 cups chopped curly kale 1 bunch
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 Mandarin oranges (cuties) peeled and segments seperated

Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing

  • cup tahini
  • cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • Prepare the Kale: Rinse and dry the kale. Remove the tough stems and chop the kale into small pieces. Place the chopped kale in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil (optional) over the kale leaves. Using your hands, massage the kale for 1 minute or until it softens.
  • Slice the Avocado: Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, remove the pit, and slice it thinly.
  • Arrange the Salad: If needed, move the kale to your serving bowl. On top of the kale, add the sliced almonds, golden raisins, avocado, red onion, and mandarins (cuties).
  • Prepare the Dressing: In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine tahini, water, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir well until all the ingredients combine, and the dressing is smooth.
  • Drizzle and Serve: Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad, toss gently to combine, and serve. You can garnish the salad with a lemon wedge if desired.

Notes

Tahini Tip: Tahini tends to separate, with solids settling at the bottom and natural oils rising to the top. If this has happened to your tahini, use a fork to stir everything together until you achieve a consistent texture.
Make-Ahead: Prepare the kale beforehand, but add the toppings and dressing just before serving. This will keep the almonds and seeds crisp and the avocado bright.
Storage: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container or tight plastic wrap in the refrigerator. The kale salad will stay well for 1-2 days. However, the avocado will be slightly brown. 

Nutrition

Calories: 579kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 1041mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2282IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 4mg
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Ruth holding a whisk to her chin.

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