Salted kale with chickpeas and green tahini

Salted kale with chickpeas and green tahini

Real Food by Mike
Alan Benson

When making this salad always look for the youngest kale possible, as old kale is tougher and harder for the body to digest. You can make tougher kale more digestible by sprinkling over some salt and lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar and letting it sit for 15 minutes before eating.


Quantity Ingredient
1 handful activated walnuts
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 bunch young kale
200g cooked chickpeas, drained
1 handful coriander leaves
1 handful mint leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced spring onion
1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds, toasted
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 quantity green tahini
1 pinch sumac


  1. Dehydrate the walnuts until crisp. I’m very lo-fiat home, and we don’t have a dehydrator, so I dehydrate or toast the nuts in the oven at 70°C until crisp – usually overnight works best. If you want to season the nuts, simply soak them in salted water so when they dehydrate they have a nice salty bloom on the surface.
  2. Massage the lemon juice and a pinch of salt into the kale, then let it sit for 15 minutes. Remove the kale from the curing bowl and it will be ready to use. Reserve the juice in the bowl.
  3. In another bowl, toss all your ingredients together, except the tahini and sumac. Add the juice from the curing bowl for more acidity if needed. If you find lemon too sharp, winter is brimming with lovely citrus to choose from, so perhaps try blood orange juice.
  4. Smear the green tahini on a serving platter to make a shallow pool. (I find that if you toss the green tahini through the salad, it is too heavy and will crush your lovely leaves.) Place the dressed ingredients on top, sprinkle with the sumac and serve.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Kale has been hailed as a superfood and it’s not hard to see why. Chickpeas, an ancient food, also have many health-giving attributes. They’re a good source of plant-based amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and are high in fibre, as well as vitamins C and B6 and potassium, which are all supportive of heart health. They’re rich in selenium, which can detoxify cancer-causing compounds in the body, and contain choline, which can help with sleep, learning and memory. Sesame seeds are particularly rich in the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid, which helps lower LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and increase HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) in the blood. They are excellent sources of B complex vitamins such as niacin, which also helps reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. Niacin enhances GABA (a calming neurotransmitter) activity in the brain, which in turn helps reduce anxiety.
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