Massaged Kale Salad with Carrots and Beets & Tahini Dressing

I don’t believe I ever had kale until I stepped into Camros. If I did, I might not have liked it as much as Camros’s. As I mentioned in my post the Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing is one of my favourites. It’s in every meal plate picture because there isn’t a visit where I don’t order it.

One day, I decided that I was going to try making it. I tore up kale leaves, removed the hard stem that runs down the middle, added some julienned beets, and then drizzled some tahini dressing.  I didn’t like the texture of the kale – it was very waxy, dry and hard to chew. And nothing like the Kale Salad at Camros. I knew I was missing something.

What was I doing wrong? I didn’t think of it until I searched the Internet and came across this post on Massaged Kale Salad. It inspired me to give kale salad another try. After massaging the kale with a bit of olive oil and sea salt, I felt the texture of the kale became softer.  It might sound strange to massage your kale, but I assure you it makes all the difference. I was delighted that it was the same texture of the salad at Camros. I also love the tahini dressing at Camros and tried to make my own version of it at home. The first time I made it, it was too much lemon, garlic and vinegar. I’ve tweaked it since then and below is my recipe followed by the Massaged Kale Salad recipe.

Tahini Dressing

Tahini Dressing Recipe

Ingredients (approximately 3-4 servings)

  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 8 tbs of warm or hot boiled water (I find hot makes it easier to break up the tahini)
  • 1/2 tsp of agave nectar (or honey)
  • few shakes of sea salt. (approx. 1/4 tsp)
  • juice from 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar

Recipe Notes

I’d recommend tasting at every step (at least for the first time) – so you can see how the dressing is evolving and adjust to your liking. You might like more garlic then me, less vinegar, more salt, more lemon juice, thicker consistency – add more tahini, thinner consistency – add more water or lemon juice, you get the idea.


1. Start with adding tahini to a bowl or wide mouth glass jar
2. Mix in warm (previously boiled) or hot boiled water to tahini mixture. Break up and mix-up mixture with a spoon. Once it looks smooth, start on the next step.
3. Add in agave nectar.
4. Add in sea salt.
5. Squeeze the juice from 1/4 of a lemon into mixture.
6. Add in olive oil.
7. Add in minced garlic.
8. Add in apple cider vinegar.
9. Stir well and taste.
A closer look at the dressing

Massaged Kale Salad with Beet & Carrot 

Ingredients (for 2 servings of salad)

  • 1 carrot (peeled)
  • approx. 1/3 of a beet (peeled)
  • handful of raw nuts (sunflower, pumpkin, or whatever you like)
  • 4 stalks of kale (I like curly leaf kale, but use any kind you like).
  • ½ tbs of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt


  • Two bowls (1 small one to hold the carrot/beet mixture, 1 large mixing bowl for kale)
  • Mandolin Slicer or Julienne Peeler

Recipe Notes on the Slicer, Peeler, or Grater

  1. If you own a julienne peeler (I own this one), it will make it really easy to get nice long strips of carrots but I’m still finding it tough to get long strips with the beets. If it works for you and you own a julienne peeler use it for both the beets and carrots.
  2. If you have a grater, you can use that instead, I just find that the strips aren’t as long.
  3. If you own a slicer, just slice the beets/carrots then layer and slice (using a knife) as thinly as possible so you have nice thin matchsticks.
  4. If you don’t have any of these, a) For the carrots, just do your best to slice as thin (about 1/4 of a cm) as possible on a diagonal (to get long match sticks), then slice each of these pieces as thin as possible. b) For the beets, peel the skin then slice them as thin (about 1/4 of a cm) as you can into discs, then slice those discs as thin as possible into match sticks.


  1. Start with julienning or slicing your carrot into matchsticks (long thin strands). Then do the same for the beet. Add them both into a small bowl. Try to get an even amount of carrots and beets.
  2. After washing kale, rip it up into bite size pieces and add to a mixing bowl, removing the hard stem in the middle. Make sure kale is as dry as you can get it to avoid adding water to your salad (it will dilute your salad dressing)
  3. Add olive oil into the bowl and a bit of sea salt. Massage the oil into the leaves with your fingers. You will feel the texture of the kale change and notice the colour brightens up from the oil.
  4. Add in the carrot and beets
  5. Drizzle with the Tahini dressing (recipe above) or a dressing of your choice.
Massaged Kale Salad with Beets & Carrots and raw sunflower seeds

Here’s a picture of a Massaged Kale Salad with the Tahini Dressing. I added mixed sprouts and a couple slices of avocado. Yum!

Massaged Kale Salad with Beets, Carrots, Avocado, Mixed Sprouts and Tahini Dressing

Are you a fan of kale? If you haven’t tried it or had a bad experience, maybe you wanna give the massaged kale a try. If anyone tries any of the above recipes, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

Update 05/24/2012: After publishing, I realized my kale stalk count was too low – 2 servings worth should be about 4 stalks. Also, I try to have an even amount of both beets and carrots. I changed the beet amount to “approx.” 1/3 of a beet since the sizes of beets do vary. These changes have been made to the recipe above.

10 thoughts on “Massaged Kale Salad with Carrots and Beets & Tahini Dressing

  1. This is my favorite salad ever!!! I have been making kale many ways, but had not yet thought of trying it in a salad and somehow found this page and the recipe. Am in love with it! Made some for my 18 year old daughter and sent the recipe to my mom and sister, who love kale too. This is a keeper! My husband doesn’t even like kale and despises beets, but he liked this salad. I used purple kale, which I found at Whole Foods. Divine! Thank you!

    1. Hi Lee Ann!
      Great to hear you LOVE this salad. I’m happy to hear that this recipe has your husband eating both the beets and the kale. Amazing! What are the other ways you like to have kale?
      You’re very welcome! Thank You for letting me know your thoughts. 🙂

      1. So funny, I came in search of this recipe again, since I had lost my printout of it and see your reply of the review I left last year. I make kale chips a lot, saute it with garlic, and now I have been experimenting with using it in salad, and different types of kale. I think raw salad is by far my favorite way to eat it now. I remember how good this was before and I’ve just been sort of guessing on the dressing recipe, which is why I looked it up. Will be making it again, it was the best one so far that I have ever made 🙂

      2. Hello Lee Ann! I haven’t made this salad and dressing in ages… you’re comment has reminded me I’ve gotta keeper worth making again. Thank you for your kind words.

  2. Ha, ha, just read about your love for cats. Had to laugh because this is me too. I currently have two inside cats, former strays, and have a semi feral cat that I have been working to gain the trust of. She currently shows up for 2 meals a day and will finally let me pet her. Anyway, just had to comment, I always have to talk cats to other cat people. My kids call me the crazy cat lady of the neighborhood 🙂

    1. Crazy Cat Lady? haha You must have a big heart to have taken in two cats and working on a third. lol! There’s something about cats that I think only cat lovers (err.. crazy cat ladies haah) can really understand. I know how awesome it feels when you can get a cat on the street to let you pet them. My last cat passed away a couple of years ago and I don’t know if I’m ready to take on another. Instead I make the most of my moments with cats in the neighborhood. Love it when I stop and they walk over to me and let me pet them. Makes me very happy. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      1. I have gained a third inside cat since posting this, and still have the feral outside that I care for. The third was a stray also, he was crying out in the woods behind my work, all alone and scared. He is a solid black little boy. He gets along beautifully with my other male cat (the female has never gotten along with any other cats unfortunately). Sorry you lost your cat. One day, when you are able to, you will hopefully get another kitty.

      2. Hello Lee Ann, You have such a big heart to take in this black boy stray. Although, I can’t imagine walking away from a crying scared cat all alone in the woods. 😦
        I haven’t gotten another cat yet, but not because my heart isn’t ready (so much love to give! lol), mostly b/c I’m not sure if I can take on that kind of a commitment right now.

    1. Hello Jenn! *blush blush* I’m very flattered. I’m so glad a fellow Camros diner has found my blog and tried a recipe. Your comment was a good reminder for me to make this salad again. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me this sweet comment.

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s