There is something about the combination of kale – more specifically, Lacinato or dino kale – and romaine lettuce. They balance each other perfectly and create a satisfying salad even as a main dish. And the sesame salt is absolute perfection – a trick I often use. This kale and romaine salad with avocado and sesame salt is easy to make, healthy, and lectin-free.
A healthy, delicious, and satisfying salad
The inspiration for this kale romaine salad comes from a similar one I usually order in one of my favorite cafes in Dallas, Ascension Cafe. They have a kale romaine salad on the menu, and I have to modify it slightly and remove some of the ingredients to make it plant-paradox compliant and lectin-free. I was always surprised by how satisfying this salad was even with a few ingredients.
Kale leaves alone can be a little tough and bitter, and Romaine salad alone is boring and more of a side dish. But together, they balance each other. The crispiness and sweetness of the romaine complement the bitterness and tougher texture of kale, and it just works.
I wanted to recreate this at home, giving it more flavor and nutritional value. Since I wanted to add some seeds, I thought sesame seeds would fit well. Then I discovered this fantastic idea in Bon Apetit magazine: sesame salt. Oh my, I found a fantastic trick to add flavor to salads!
How to make sesame salt
How to make the sesame salt: toast about 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds until fragrant, about 5 minutes, on the stove on low heat, in a naked pan. I used a stainless steel All-Clad saucepan. I mixed black and white sesame seeds, but you can use any color of raw sesame seeds. Watch them and stir them, making sure they don’t burn.
Once ready, add them to a mortar and pestle and let them cool down. Add one heaping teaspoon of flaky sea salt – I used Maldon Sea Salt Flakes – and slightly crush until about half of the sesame seeds are ground. This makes more than you need for the recipe, store the leftovers for about one week in an air-tight jar and use them with other foods.
Making the kale and romaine salad
You need about one heaping cup of chopped Lacinato or dinosaur kale and one cup of romaine salad leaves. Measure by pressing down. Use a salad spinner to dry the leaves.
You also need about 1/4 of one small to medium red onion, finely julienned, depending on how much you like raw onion in your food. You will marinate this for 5 minutes in a mix of vinegar. This way you’ll get rif od some of that strong taste of the onion. For the vinegar mix, I used champagne vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. Slice the onion, and add it to a small bowl with the vinegar mix. Let it sit in the vinegar while you prepare the salad in a large bowl.
The other only three ingredients for this salad are extra virgin olive oil, half avocado, and a few shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano (which is the original parmesan cheese). This salad is ready in no time if you have your kale and romaine washed and dried in advance. This is one of the most helpful meal preps I do and saves me a ton of time.
This salad could also be a great base for a caesar dressing or a different kind of vinaigrette made with, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
How to serve kale-romaine salad with avocado and sesame salt
If you want to transform this leafy green salad into a complete meal, add some cooked chicken breast or some boiled eggs to it. A few slices of prosciutto or even a handful of nuts can also do the trick.
Or just serve it as a side salad.
And friends, don’t forget to chew, especially the kale. Digestion starts in the mouth, and some of the benefits of kale begin with breaking the leaves while chewing.
For another delicious salad, try our:
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Kale-Romaine Salad with Avocado and Sesame Salt
This kale-romaine salad with avocado and sesame salt is nutritious, satisfying, and easy to make. Makes a great side dish or a complete meal.
- FOR THE SESAME SALT:
- 3 tablespoons raw sesame seeds (a mix of black and white if you have them)
- 1 heaping teaspoon of sea salt flakes
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 heaping cup or more chopped, clean, and dry Lacinato kale
- 1 heaping cup or more chopped, clean, and dry Romaine lettuce
- 1/4 small to medium red onion, finely sliced (julienne)
- 1/2 avocado, cubed
- Vinegar mix: 1 teaspoon champagne or prosecco vinegar, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- about 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame salt
- A few shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano
Make the sesame salt by toasting the sesame seeds in a skillet, on low to medium heat, for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a pestle and mortar, add the sea salt flakes, and crush until about half of the sesame seeds are crushed. You will have leftovers you can use for other meals. Store in an air-tight jar for about a week.
Make the vinegar mix and add the sliced onions. Mix and let them marinate until the salad is ready.
Add the kale to a mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon of sesame salt, and half of the extra virgin olive oil, and massage gently with your hands to break down some of the fiber in the kale. Add the romaine lettuce, avocado, onions and vinegar mix, and gently toss everything with your hands.
Add the salad to a serving plate, sprinkle some more sesame salt on top, drizzle the rest of the olive oil, and top with the Parmigiano shavings. Serve immediately.
This quantity only makes one generous-size salad. For a complete meal, you can add some boiled eggs or cooked chicken to this salad.