Shredded Kale and Pear Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing
This kale salad, which you might recognize from one of my other kale salads, is pretty much a big pile of some of my most favorite things tossed together. Shredded kale, which I will love always and forever. Red pears because they’re so pretty. Toasted pecans, because when are they not a good idea. Crisp, sliced fennel. And, my favorite grain – freekeh.
I’m currently crushing on red pears. It’s safe to say I’m smitten. These deep red beauties are succulent & sweet, and super juicy. Plus, they have the power to make any dish look prettier. They’ve made their way into my breakfast (recipe coming soon…it’s so great) and my salads. I’ve also been roasting them for desserts and enjoying them as is. I’m a little bit obsessed.
Right after I cut the pears for this salad into chunks I immediately regretted not slicing them super thin. I think you should so that instead. Pear chunks are nice. But, thinly sliced pears would make this salad even prettier.
I’ve had this Maple Tahini Dressing on my mind for a while. I was just waiting for the right salad to come along, to make it. I’m so glad it finally happened.
This dressing is thick and flavorful, and truly delicious. Like, eat it on everything kind of delicious. And for bonus points, it’s pretty much guilt free. Not too often you can say that about salad dressing.
While the tahini keeps the dressing on the thick side, the flavor is still pretty light. It’s mostly savory, with a subtle hint of sweet from the maple syrup and a little bit of acid from some fresh lemon juice to round it out.
1/4 cup wholegrain freekeh
3/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups kale, center rib removed & shredded
1 red pear, halved, core removed & sliced thin
1/3 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup fennel, halved & sliced thin
For the dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
fresh ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine wholegrain freekeh, water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 45 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with taste with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, add the kale, pear, pecans, fennel and freekeh, and toss together. Add dressing as desired, and mix to coat the salad ingredients. Use only as much dressing as you like.