One of my favorite winter (or anytime) salads-as-a-meal is this dish of wilted kale and roasted potato, moistened with tahini-lemon dressing. In fact, you may remember reading about it a while ago here. It’s worth another look, so I revived it from the archives and rephotographed it–alternately cringing at my old photography skills and daring to pat myself on the back a bit on how I’ve improved. (You’ll note that my previous post wasn’t even in focus so I hope I’m not coming across as too vain–this is a low bar we’re talking about. And believe me when I say that I am fully aware–even more aware than before–that I still have lots to learn). This post was originally re-published here on Honest Cooking before being re-re-published here. It’s still as good as ever!
You know a recipe is worth sharing when you don’t use it–you’ve made it so many times that you can chop and assemble your meal just as easily as if you were brewing a cup of tea or peeling a juicy orange. Knowing a recipe by heart like this makes you feel adept and competent in the kitchen, calm and at peace. A welcome contrast to referring back to a book over and over again that refuses to stay open, or rattling frantically in your pantry for ingredients.
There’s something about the way a tahini-lemon dressing complements dark, leafy greens–it brings out their earthiness and gives them character the way simple vinegar and oil just can’t do. Roasted potatoes ensure the salad has that heartiness essential for winter eating (though I make this often enough in summer). The whole process is hands off, as easy to make as it is to eat.
I originally saw this recipe in Gourmet, back when it was still in print. I’ve modified the method over the years and made my own tweaks, but the essential flavors remain similar. Hopefully you too soon won’t need my recipe.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 1/2 c parmesan, shredded (optional); divided
- 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 a few times, 25-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree water, lemon juice, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth, or puree using an immersion blender. (Add a bit of water if sauce is too thick.)
When the potatoes are nearly done, stir in half the parmesan cheese. Roast for 5 more minutes, then spread the chopped kale over, turn off the oven, and close the door and let the salad rest for 5 minutes. The kale will wilt in the residual heat of the oven.
When wilted, stir the kale in, along with the tahini dressing and remaining parmesan, if using. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.