simple spicy sesame kale salad

Jeanne here.

About three years ago, our friends Claire and Danny brought a version of this salad to a pot-luck at our house in Pasadena and I can’t count the times I’ve made it since… especially since kale is one of the hardiest plants that grown in our little raised beds … it’s a superfood … and I’m always looking for ways to use it that don’t involve blending it into a smoothie (which we also do all the time

kale salad

It’s so simple, it’s kind of embarrassing.  But maybe that’s what makes it so great.


  • A big bunch of kale (enough for 6-8 servings), washed and shredded … sturdy ribs removed.
  • Juice from 2 Lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Hot Chili Sesame Oil
  • Sea Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Apple (cut into one-inch bits)
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese


Combine the lemon juice, honey, sesame oil and salt and pepper in a small mason jar.  Seal it up and “shake it real good,” until the honey is dissolved in the liquid and the oil and lemon juice are blended.  Pour the contents over the kale and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss to disperse.

And then set it aside for about an hour.  This gives the acidic lemon juice time to break down the raw kale just a little bit … to take away some of the “bitter” and to raw-cook it so it’s more digestible.

Just before serving, toss with the apple and feta cheese.

A NOTE:  the hot chili sesame oil has some real heat … and it’s sort of nutty … and it’s a great compliment to the bitter dark green kale.  It gives the whole salad a slightly more complex flavor than just a straight up vinaigrette.  And we sort of just love it.  Also, we started adding the honey and apple when the kiddos started eating more salads.  The honey mellows the heat of the chili and tang of the lemon a bit.  And the apples are just a good sweet crunch.  And our littles love this salad almost as much as we do!

We’re linked up:
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
This Chick Cooks
The Nourishing Gourmet

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