Fresh, sweet and tangy kiwi salad = our favorite salad of the year so far! Kiwi is chopped into this salad with skins and all (!) and the dressing is whipped up from tahini, lemon juice, za’atar and preserved lemon. A generous amount of delicious vegan feta seals the deal! This flavor combination is surprisingly addictive, but I’m even more surprised with the fact that I’m eating kiwi with those hairy skins.
Don’t knock it ’till you try it
The hairy skins of kiwi fruits literally give me the chills – I have a similar gut reaction to fuzzy peach skins. I struggle touching these delicious fruits with my hands, and the thought of biting into them is the stuff of nightmares to me! I remember vividly my horror as I watched Nadiya’s Time to Eat on Netflix a year ago, and Nadiya Hussain made a kiwi feta salad without peeling the kiwi. Are you nuts? I thought. Who wants to eat that???
Fast forward a year and here I am, writing a blog post about a kiwi salad with unpeeled kiwi fruit. Life can be full of surprises, as everyone who’s been awake for the last 2 years is painfully aware of, I’m sure. The thought of kiwi with skins on didn’t leave me alone and once I finally felt brave enough to try it, I’ve been making it non stop. The image I had (and still have) in my mind about eating the skin of the kiwi does not match with the reality. Unless I knew what I’m eating, I don’t think I’d even know it! Mixed into the salad and the creamy tahini dressing in particular, the skins are a zero problem to me. And the best thing is, this salad comes together so much faster than if I’d take the time to take all those skins off.
If you’re like me and can’t stand the hairy kiwi skins, I dare you to dare yourself. Hopefully you’ll be as positively surprised as I’ve been!
My kiwi salad today is heavily inspired by the salad I saw in Nadiya’s show, all the way to the za’atar-tahini dressing. I however didn’t look up the recipe when I first made this, I was just playing it by memory. Now that I’m finally typing this recipe here, I looked up Nadiya’s recipe and compared my memory of the salad with the original recipe.
And you know what? It’s close! Nadiya’s kiwi salad has fresh dill instead of the mint I used, and she adds red onion to the mix. The salad I came up with has other veggies instead. Kiwi and cucumber are paired with fennel and blueberries, as well as lamb’s lettuce! The sauce on the other hand is pretty one-on-one. Tahini thinned down by lemon juice, seasoned to taste with fresh garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and agave syrup (instead of the honey Nadiya uses) and lots of za’atar. The dressing is already delicious like this, but I love to add a quarter of salt preserved lemon zest. If you have some around, I’d recommend you to do the same! The salt preserved lemon adds a doze of salinity but more importantly, a funky citrus kick to the dressing!
Kiwi salad with vegan feta & za'atar-tahini dressing
- box grater / microplane
- 4 kiwi fruits (preferably organic)
- 100 g blueberries
- 1 small fennel
- ½ medium sized cucumber
- 70 g lamb's lettuce (or baby spinach)
- 1 bunch of fresh mint
- 200 g (vegan) feta
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 small cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp salt preserved lemon peel, finely minced
- 1 lemon juice
- 4 tsp za'atar
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 2-4 tbsp water
- Finely mince the salt preserved lemon peel (don't use the flesh) and mix it with tahini, agave syrup, olive oil and lemon juice. Grate in the garlic and season the dressing with za'atar. Mix well and thin the sauce down with a few tablespoons of water.
- Wash and dry the kiwi, blueberries, cucumber, mint, fennel and salad. Remove the hard ends of the kiwis and chop the fruits to 8-12 pieces. Half the cucumber lenthwise and chop into bite sized pieces. You can also make thin ribbons out of the cucumber with the help of a mandoline. Cut the fennel bulb in half and finely slice the fennel.
- Layer the ingredients of the salad on four large plates, or one large platter: start with the lamb's lettuce, followed by the cucumbers, fennel and kiwi. Drizzle the dressing on top and finish the salad with crumbled up (vegan) feta, blueberries and mint. Serve immediately!
Ps. If you live in Finland, I highly recommend using the new oat based vegan feta Mö Kreikkalainen in this salad! It’s so good. We all ought to eat more plant-based food and cut down the use of animal based ingredients. With vegan cheeses like this, the choice is easy in my opinion!