Massaged Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini and Urfa Peanuts

In my humble opinion, the key to a killer salad is to build the flavours and textures. Think: hot, salty, sharp, crunchy.
The other key component for a salad here is ‘everyday ingredients’ which lend themselves well to a store cupboard forage. The inspiration for this salad started with leftover rice (having cooked too much at the weekend). Then, an open pack of feta, some kale which was nearing its ‘best before’ date and salty peanuts (a far cheaper and more of an ‘everyday ingredient’ here than, say, cashews or pinenuts).

Spices are a real help in this regard. It’s hard to make sure that you always have a fresh chilli to hand (without being accidentally wasteful in the process), but tins of spices have a long shelf-life and Aleppo Chilli, Black Urfa Chilli, Shichimi Togarashi, House Blend can all add a delicious kick in the shake of a hand.

A quick note on ‘massaging’ kale. It sounds rather intimate, but is a 45 seconds well-spent. Use your fingertips to ‘rub’ the kale (as you might ‘rub’ butter and flour when making pastry) and it’ll break down the structure of the kale, and make it softer and all round more delicious.


For the dressing
1 thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, grated (or a frozen puck, defrosted)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juiced

200g cooked rice, cool
100g raw kale (or Cavolo Nero)
1 carrot
80g feta cheese, crumbled
1 small handful salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1tsp Black Urfa Chilli (OR Shichimi Togarashi, Aleppo Chilli, House Blend)


Firstly, make-up the salad dressing in the base of a large mixing bowl. Stir the ginger, garlic and tahini together. Pour in the lemon juice and keep stirring — until it turns into a thick and claggy paste. Drizzle in a little ice-cold water to loosen the tahini dressing, so it has a thick pouring consistency.

Next, prepare the kale for their massage!
If you’re using Cavolo Nero then cut out the thick ‘rib’, and if you’re using kale then remove as much of the stem as you can. Now cut it into thin pieces and tip it into the mixing bowl with the dressing. Use your fingertips to ‘massage’ the kale, rubbing it as you would rub butter and flour when making pastry. Round 30-45 seconds you should be able to feel the kale leaves start to soften, and everything should become deliciously coated in the dressing.

Use a vegetable peeler to take the outer skin off the carrot, then lay it on a worktop and use the peeler to pull beautifully thin ribbons of carrot. Add the carrot to the mixing bowl, along with the cooked rice and crumbled feta. Stir, so everything is combined, and pile high onto a plate.

In a small bowl, mix together the rough-chopped peanut and the Black Urfa Pepper (or Aleppo Chilli, Shichimi Togarashi, House Blend) and use generously as a hot, crunchy garnish.

spices used

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