Weekly Swoon: Tuscan Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Giving gluten the anti-inflammatory boot

By: rē•spin
Weekly Swoon: Tuscan Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

On National Gluten-Free Day, consider making a meal sans the pervasive binding protein. Even if you do not have Celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its own small intestine, it helps to give your gut a break from gluten. You won’t believe the effects of taking a break from gluten. They include a flatter stomach due to decreased bloating and gas. Some even cite greater clarity of thinking and focus. This is because up to six percent of the population is estimated to have what experts dub Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). This is a condition leading to chronic inflammation when it is consumed regularly. 

We know that chronic, low-grade inflammation ravages the health from the cellular level (stymying their ability to be nourished and to detox) on out, ultimately leading to disease. Hence, an anti-inflammatory diet is worth looking into in 2022. To get started, try eliminating — or minimizing — gluten and dairy. Rather than lamenting what you are giving up, focus instead on what you would like to incorporate more of. Fresh greens are an excellent option that dietary nutrition experts unanimously agree upon. This makes the addition of a fresh, veggie-filled salad relevant for any wellness-minded menu. 

On this note, let’s dig into Athena Calderone’s Tuscan Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing. The nourishment provided in this dish is ample. The kale provides fiber. This helps to regulate blood sugar by slowing down the body’s absorption rate of carbohydrates. Kale also aids in flushing out your digestive system. It provides phytonutrients galore, minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and even hydration to your systems. Added apples give the salad some nutritious excitement. Trust us when we say that each bite with apple bits will be especially pleasing.

Zesty lemon-tahini dressing completes the feast, with its own bevy of benefits. Created from ground-up sesame seeds, these little gems provide heaps of Magnesium. With at least 50% of the population suffering from a magnesium deficiency, this is a great natural boost. The recipe includes an abundance of protein, antioxidants, calcium, and minerals. After this meal, you’ll feel light, uplifted, and nourished. 

Before getting started, in true EyeSwoon style, we’d like to share a preparation tip. First, Calderone recommends that you slice the kale as thinly as possible — approximately ½ inch thick. She makes precise, aesthetically-pleasing cuts by stacking and rolling them before chopping them. 

Now, you’re ready to get tossing.

Gluten-Free Tuscan Kale Salad Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6

For the Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper, plus more for serving

For the Salad

  • 1 head lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored, thinly sliced, and cut lengthwise into matchsticks
  • ½ cup (45 g) almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 ounces (55 g) pecorino Toscano, shaved
  • 1 lemon, zested

Method of Preparation


  1. Mash the garlic and salt in a paste on a cutting board using the back of a heavy knife.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, tahini, lemon juice, and honey with 2 tablespoons water until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the oil and Aleppo pepper until fully combined.


  1. Toss the kale, apple, almonds, and raisins together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
  3. Top with the shaved pecorino, a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, and the lemon zest.

Hint: If plant-based, omit the pecorino cheese



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