Refreshing Sumac Salmon Kale Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette

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Recently, my husband and I have been listening to a lot of podcasts and watching documentaries about health and diet.  The concept that food is medicine seems so revolutionary and yet so simple at the same time.  I recommend everyone watch the documentary “Forks over Knives” and read the book or watch on Youtube “The China Study”.  Whole food plant based diets are linked to complete decrease in cancer and cures to autoimmune diseases.


I can go on and on about this documentary but I’ll just let you watch it.  Just know that I’ll be eating a lot more vegetables and salmon and a lot less meat and I hope I can inspire you to do the same! Enter Salmon kale salad with Tahini Sesame Vinaigrette and Pickled Turnips into my life and in my belly. 

Recently, I went to a restaurant in LA called Fundamental LA and they had an amazing Salmon Kale salad with pickled turnip and a ginger vinaigrette.   You know how super giddy I get when I see anything Middle Eastern in my cuisine.  That was me when my salad came out with pink pickles on top.  The pickled turnips are so nostalgic of Syria and the Middle East because they’re consumed all the time!  Mainly in a falafel sandwich or with certain entrees but we like to even eat them solo as a crunchy snack.  I call them the Middle Eastern pickle because that’s exactly what they are.   Pink pickles. 

I’m working on a separate post on how to make pickled turnips because there is a natural trick to achieve that color and because they're just that good.  So stay tuned!  In the meantime, you can find pink pickles at any ethnic Middle Eastern supermarket. 

The addition of fresh mint and thai basil leaves really make this salad such a burst of amazing flavors.  Combine that with the tahini dressing and the sumac salmon and then top it off with crunchy pink pickles and we got ourselves a winner salad. 

The BEST CREAMY Tahini Salad of ever!

So remember I said I come from a family of traditions... well, this is one of them!  My family goes all out for Sunday brunch with all the usual Middle Eastern suspects; jams, cheeses, fava bean salad (ful mdamas), chickpea yogurt dish (tisi'ya// fetay), eggs, walnut stuffed pickled eggplants (makdoos), olives, and pita bread galore.  I remember my dad would always cut the pita bread into half circles and make us fava bean salad pita sandwiches drizzled with yogurt (so. friggin. good btw).  So when my mom would make breakfast, she would make this tahini salad and as a separate brunch dish she would make the fava bean salad which is called Ful.  The ful dish is made up of basically this tahini salad plus boiled fava beans and more olive oil.   My siblings and I never knew the name of this particular tahini salad so we would always beg my mom to make it and refer to it as, the ful without the ful salad.  

So I present to you the "ful without the ful salad".   There was a period where I would eat this every single day.  The way the tahini lemon sauce marrys the crunch cucumber and juicy tomatoes is just out of this world.  

I can eat this salad on its own but its also great served with chicken kabobs or lamp chops or really anything. 

This dressing is everything.  Make some and store for later! 

This dressing is everything.  Make some and store for later! 

It's important to toss the salad because you want all the flavors to combine with the tomatoes.  You want the onions to release their flavors as well.  I've been trying to stay away from consuming too much bread (very difficult because bread is def one of my weaknesses) so I eat this salad as is, but it's actually good with warm pita bread.  Feel free to add more or less of whatever you like.  My sister loves cucumbers so she usually adds way more cucumbers, I like it more lemony so I'll add more lemon.  Don't be afraid to adjust to your liking!