Update: I have reblogged and rephotographed this post here–check it out!
I saw something like this in gourmet a few issues back and it has become a good go-to recipe for when I have kale in my CSA box–something happening less frequently now that the weather is warmer, but a vegetable that will be sure to make its return in due time. (Note this is a bit of a catch-up entry as I made this a while ago; plus it’s now not really ‘winter salad’ time, but if you’ve been in MA the past few days you can forgive me for reverting to a cold weather recipe).
Quarter your potatoes (or chop them even smaller if you’ve got really big potatoes). Drizzle on some olive oil and roast at 400F in baking pan. In the meantime, make your tahini dressing. The first time I followed the gourmet recipe (below), but the second time I just went from memory–tahini, lemon, olive oil, garlic, and some water to thin it out are essential. (Tahini dressing is also great for spinach, a green I don’t think responds well to simple vinegar and oil treatment, which is what I do with most greens when I am lazy, even though a vinaigrette takes only a few minutes to make). I’m sure there’s a million variations on this simple tahini dressing out there. About 5-10 minutes before the potatoes are done, add the kale and stir it in a bit. (You can’t stir it in very easily and it will even seem to overflow the baking pan–don’t worry–it will wilt and shrink down in the heat).
My second time around I also left out the parmesan, and I didn’t find it lacking for anything. I love parmesan but the tahini is assertive enough to stand on its own.
Remove from the oven and pour the dressing over, and serve. A simple, elegant side dish. Tahini, it turns out, is for more than just hummus (which I don’t make either, though I should). Potatoes, as one of the ultimate comfort foods, provide a satisfying base for this salad, the kale a fresh crunch, and the tahini dressing lends a little kick to what are otherwise rather mild flavors.
Potato Kale Winter Salad with Tahini dressing (adapted from gourmet December 2008; available here)
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves (3 thinly sliced and 1 minced)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 pounds kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves very thinly sliced crosswise.
Toss potatoes with oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large 4-sided sheet pan, then spread evenly. Roast, stirring once, 10 minutes. Stir in sliced garlic and roast 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, purée tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. (Add a bit of water if sauce is too thick.) [Note: I just mixed it by hand, rather than add more dishes to wash. I don’t mind a bit of garlic flavor here and there).
Toss kale with hot potatoes and any garlic and oil remaining in pan, then toss with tahini sauce and salt and pepper to taste.