It’s around this time of year that I start craving the bright flavors of spring —the ones that feel like sunshine on a plate. Zesty lemon, snappy cucumber, and creamy avocado quickly put me in a warm weather state of mind, with visions of ice cold rosé on balmy patios dancing in my head. 

For this Mediterranean kale salad, I was inspired by a mezze spread, hence the handful of crunchy chickpeas, refreshing tomatoes and cucumbers, and the ridiculously good honey-tahini dressing. It’s a mix of flavors that form an addictive combination. And what’s not to love about a salad that’s every bit as satisfying as it is healthful?

Tips to Level up Your Salad Game

We all know that salads can be ho-hum or extraordinary, and there are a few techniques that restaurant chefs always use to make their salads crave-worthy.

Make Raw Veggies Super Crisp

This is a simple step that makes a huge difference. Once you’ve washed and chopped your veggies, fill a big bowl with salted ice water. Use your hands to submerge them for a few minutes (I usually do this while I make the dressing.) Then drain and dry your veggies, and be wowed by how incredibly crisp and refreshing they are. The salt water also infuses them with just enough salty flavor. 

Coat Each Ingredient With Just Enough Dressing

Restaurant-level salads usually seem to be full of so much flavor because there’s a bit of dressing on every bite. The key to achieving that at home is to use a bigger bowl than you think you’ll need to toss the salad with dressing. And use your hands! Chefs know that their hands are their best cooking tool, and there’s no better way to make sure that each ingredient has just the right amount of dressing coated on it.

Add the Toppings at the Very End

Since we eat with our eyes first, this is as much for aesthetics as it is for taste. After you’ve tossed together most of your salad ingredients, you’re going to add the slabs of feta, slices of avocado, and crunchy chickpeas right on top. That way you can strategically tuck and arrange everything so it looks pretty, and evenly distribute these ingredients over the top that might sink to the bottom if tossed.

Make it vegan by omitting the feta, or add protein by topping with chicken or grilled salmon. The options are endless, and there's no question that this Mediterranean  salad is about to become my go-to over the next few months, and I know you’re going to love it, too! Scroll on for the recipe...

Mediterranean Kale Salad

Total Time





Camille Styles


  • 2 romaine hearts, crunchy leaves only, chopped
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced or shaved on a mandoline
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced or shaved on a mandoline
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 block of feta
  • 1 cup crunchy chickpeas
  • 1 large avocado, sliced

for the honey-tahini dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • juice of a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey


1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add a large pinch of kosher salt. Submerge the prepared romaine, radishes, onion, and cucumber in the ice water bath for 5 minutes. Drain and roll up in a dishtowel to completely dry.

2. Meanwhile, slice the feta into slabs about 1/2” thick.

3. Add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar, and shake well until emulsified and combined.

4. Add the dried veggies to a large serving bowl along with the halved tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, then drizzle with most of the dressing. Use your hands to toss thoroughly.

5. Transfer to shallow bowls for serving, top with feta, crunchy chickpeas and avocado. Drizzle with remainder of dressing and a pinch of salt to taste. Eat!