This shaved Brussels sprout and kale salad with lemon-tahini dressing and toasted sesame seeds has lots of sesame flavor and just a little heat.
I’ve been working on a huge client project these past few weeks and it’s taken up all of my time. That and dealing with the full-force return to school days and activities and parties and obligations. After all those months of being home, I need some kind of training program to get used to the (exhausting) pace of “normal” life.
All this busy-ness has me cooking less and eating far too few vegetables. But one bright spot has been this shaved Brussels sprout and kale salad with lemon-tahini dressing. First off, it’s absolutely delicious. Thinly shaved Brussels sprouts and kale ribbons are rendered supple by the lemon-tahini dressing. It’s topped with toasted sesame seeds – a step you must not skip! – and they lend crunch and richness to each bite.
The Best Way to Make Shaved Brussels Sprouts
Shaved Brussels sprout salads can be hard to get right. Though I often try anyway, I’ve found that cutting them paper thin is very hard to do with a knife. These days, I always use my mandoline slicer paired with a protective cut-resistant glove like this. If you slice or do any kind of complex knife work, I highly recommend the glove. Instead of risking a major injury each time I use my mandoline, I can work quickly and efficiently knowing that my fingertips will remain intact.
Once you’ve safely sliced the sprouts, the process is essentially the same as for any massaged kale salad. Toss the sprouts and kale ribbons with lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and sea salt, and gently massage the leaves. Then set it aside while you make the dressing.
About the dressing: This salad really soaks up the dressing and flavor, so though it may feel like a lot, you’ll be glad to have it.
Lastly, toast the sesame seeds, slice a few radishes for color if you like, and serve with lemon slices, an extra drizzle of lemon-tahini dressing, and sesame seeds.
This salad keeps well for about 3 days in the fridge, making it ideal for meal prep or work lunches.
- 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, very thinly shaved, preferably with a mandoline
- 1 bunch (8 ounces) Lacinato kale, woody stems stripped, and sliced into thin ribbons
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Watermelon radish, thinly sliced, preferably with a mandoline
- Sea salt
- 4 tablespoons black and/or white sesame seeds
- 1 medium shallot, minced (1 tablespoon)
- Juice of 2 lemons (4 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 - 4 drops of toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 - 2 tablespoons water, as needed
In a large mixing bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts and kale with the lemon zest and a generous pinch of sea salt. Massage and squeeze the salt and lemon into the leaves. Set aside while you make the dressing.
To make the dressing, in a pint jar or small bowl, combine the shallot, lemon juice, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the sesame oil, honey, and tahini. If needed, thin slightly with water until mixture is smooth.
Set a small skillet over medium heat, and shaking gently, toast the sesame seeds until they are light golden and have just started to pop. Take care not to burn the seeds – if the pan is too hot, spoon them out quickly to stop the cooking process.
Toss the salad with most of the dressing. Taste and add additional dressing and sea salt as needed. Top with sesame seeds. Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to three days.