Kale gets a bad rap for being, well, kale, but there are so many wonderful ways to make this nutritious leafy vegetable fun to eat. I like to add a bunch of textural elements to my kale salads because the sturdiness of kale can hold up to all kinds of toppings. Here, I layer on the crunch factor with homemade croutons and sunflower seeds. For creaminess, I add in buttery avocados and white beans.
Make the croutons:1.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2.
Cut the slices of sourdough bread into cubes. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Toss the bread cubes in the oil to coat. Spread the cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheet and tossing the croutons halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The croutons will crisp up more as they cool.
Make the dressing:3.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, olive oil and lemon juice with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. If the mixture starts to seize (it will look grainy and coagulated), add a few teaspoons of cold water to thin it out.
Toss the salad:4.
Add the cleaned and de-stemmed kale to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the leafy greens and gently massage the kale into the dressing well until the kale breaks down. The greens will become softer and less fibrous, making it easier to eat than leaving it raw.5.
Add the diced avocado, white beans, halved grape tomatoes and sunflower seeds to the massaged kale and toss together. Top with additional croutons if desired and enjoy!