Summer Kale Salad

As you may have noticed, last week I did not upload a recipe. I was toying with a few different recipes and didn’t feel as though I refined one well enough to post. However, as a result I was able to perfect this recipe, and it sure is delicious. To me, salads are synonymous with summer. There is nothing better than a cold, crunchy and refreshing salad on a warm summer day. 

I find that kale is one of my favourite leafy greens to make salad with. However, it is crucial to properly massage the kale, otherwise you may find that the salad has tough leaves and unpleasant. We top the kale with a whole plethora of wonderful ingredients that bring this salad a wonderful Middle-Eastern vibe. We sauté the chickpeas with smoked paprika and toss it all with a lemon-tahini dressing.

One quick note is that this is a very large salad, enough for four people to eat as a meal. Perfect for outdoor summer gatherings; however, feel free to cut it in half if you’re just cooking for yourself.  Another reason to love kale salads is that their leaves tend to keep better in order to have leftovers the next day.  I hope you find this salad as tasty as I do!

Active time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Quick pickled red onions

  • 2 cups of vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 large red onion
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic

Salad

  • 2 bunches lacinato kale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups chickpeas (2 cans)
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Crumbled pita chips, to top

Tahini dressing

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. First we will make the pickled red onions: combine the vinegar, the maple syrup and the salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  2. In the meantime slice your onions into very thin semi-circles. Then, get a large glass jar. Put a bit of water in the bottom and microwave it for about two minutes to heat the glass, as we will be pouring hot liquid into it. Pour out the hot water once microwaved.
  3. Put the red onion, the whole cloves of garlic and the peppercorns into the jar. Pour the brine over the onions until the jar is full, there may be leftover brine.
  4. Now, prepare the kale. Remove the leaves from the tough stems and put them in a large salad bowl. Break the leaves into bite-sized pieces using your hands. Add a generous pinch of salt over the leaves and begin to massage them. We want them to soften and begin to wilt, but do not over massage.
  5. Heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil into the pan and sauté the chickpeas with the smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the chickpeas and the spices are well mixed and are beginning to brown. Set aside to cool. 
  6. Make the tahini dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and whisking together. 
  7. In the large salad bowl with the kale, add in the cherry tomatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast and the chickpeas. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and toss.
  8. Top salad with pickled red onions and crushed pita chips. Enjoy right away! Can be stored until the next day in the refrigerator as well.

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