Baby Kale Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Tahini-Lemon Vinaigrette



It’s been really hot here in San Diego, so we have been grilling and/or eating a lot of salads. I thought I would share with you all a very simple but delicious salad that I prepared last week. This salad made with tender baby kale, toasted pine nuts, parmigiano-reggiano and tahini lemon vinaigrette. If you think you don’t like kale give baby kale a try. The minerals and vitamins in raw kale are impressive. It’s loaded with vitamins K, A and C, as well as calcium and magnesium. Baby kale has a milder flavor than mature kale, the stalks have just a nice bit of crunch but the leaves are still peppery. I love to make salad dressings from scratch and avoid all of the preservatives and high sugar content that is found in most of the store-bought variety. For my dressing, I mixed tahini with fresh squeezed lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, a bit of garlic, smoked sweet paprika and some agave nectar for sweetness. With just a few ingredients, this salad manages to hit all of the notes a good salad should have and it gets even better in the fridge overnight.

Note: If you can’t find tahini sesame paste in your local grocery store here are couple of online options: and and here’s the link to smoked sweet paprika

Serves 2


For salad:

  • Baby kale, 2-3 generous handfuls
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons finally grated Permigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted toasted pine nuts
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings, for garnish (use vegetable peeler)

For Tahini-Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon filtered water


  1. In a salad bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add the baby kale and toss well to coat.
  2. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Add the grated cheese and toss again. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and garnish with the cheese shavings before serving.



27 thoughts on “Baby Kale Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Tahini-Lemon Vinaigrette

    • Thanks! Baby kale is becoming more and more available in the supermarkets. I actually really like using it for salads now. The dressing was really good and blended well with leafy greens! Thanks for stopping by!

  1. I have fallen in love with kale as I am learning how to properly use it in recipes. The first time I used kale was in a stir-fry, it didn’t go so well, very tough to eat because I included the stems and all. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe:)

  2. Oooh this looks and sounds lovely! I love the vinaigrette, too! I just made a ton of homemade tahini and I’ve been looking for additional ways to use it; I think this will be next on my list! 🙂

  3. I’m loving pine nuts these days and what a great way to use them. The special nutty flavour would go so well with the distinct arugula. Great post!

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