Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kale and Cucumber Salad With Avocado-Tahini Dressing

I don't mean to brag, but I have 5 tomatoes happily ripening on one of my tomato plants in my garden that doesn't get quite enough sun and has struggled with a serious aphid problem. Five. And one looks like it just might be ready in the next week or so. I can hardly wait- the first crops of the season! Hurrah! (If you're from Arizona, please don't rub it in that you can have tomatoes all stinking year. It's at least 140 degrees there all summer which basically makes it uninhabitable in my opinion. If it weren't for that, I'd move just for the lemon trees). My smaller-than-usual-garden is also working on: some kind of butter lettuce (that claims to be slightly sweet but is quite bitter), Swiss chard, arugula, bush beans, 2 other tomato plants, a bell pepper, and 2 eggplants (which are struggling. Perhaps the lack of sun). I used to have marigolds, but they were eaten by a mysterious rodent...possibly squirrels.

I don't have any kale planted, which is really a shame because this recipe is AWESOME. And rather surprising. I wouldn't have thought of mixing avocado with tahini paste, but I'm glad someone did. I personally kept the dressing a little on the thick side so I could keep some extra as a spread for sandwiches tomorrow. I'm thinking pita with cucumber, sprouts, and feta; the husband is thinking more along the lines of turkey breast with swiss cheese. Either way, it's bound to be delicious.

So what have you planted in your garden? Or have you planted yet?

Kale and Cucumber Salad with Avocado-Tahini Dressing
Recipe adapted from The Washington Post
Picture by Kelly

6 ounces kale (Tuscan or curly), rinsed and dried
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
2-3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 ripe avocado, skin and pit removed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup tahini paste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Remove the stems from the kale (by either ripping or cutting the leaves off the stems). Place leaves on top of one another and roll; cut into thin ribbons and set aside in a large bowl. 
  2. Slice cucumber lengthwise and remove seeds. Thinly slice and add to bowl of kale. Add carrot and gently toss.
  3. Place parsley, avocado, lemon juice, tahini, and cumin in a blender. Puree until smooth; add the water a little at a time until it becomes a pourable dressing (or until you reach a desirable consistency).
  4. Add about half of the dressing to the kale mixture and toss to coat evenly. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Add more dressing if desired. Serve immediately.

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