Kale & Chickpea Caesar Salad
Jim Gaffigan would probably stand up and leave if I served this salad to him. He does not like the kale.
I agree with half of that. There is some serious kale propaganda these days, but the health benefits of kale are legit. I get it. Kale is healthy, but if you think kale tastes like bug spray you’re doing it wrong!
Kale can be really delicious if you prepare it correctly. It’s a really hearty green so you need to pair it with big flavors or it can over-power. That’s why it’s perfect for a caesar salad mash-up!
I kept this kale chickpea caesar salad vegetarian by leaving the anchovies out of the dressing, but you could add in one if you like them. The roasted chickpeas end up being like crunchy little croutons minus the bread. Not that I have a thing against bread (I love gluten), but it’s a nice change from a flavor/texture perspective.
1) For dressing, mince garlic very finely and add to a bowl with lemon juice. Whisk in yogurt and mayo. Then drizzle in olive oil while whisking until dressing is smooth. Season well with salt and pepper.
2) For chickpeas, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss drained and rinsed chickpeas with olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Spread out chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the chickpeas for 15-20 minutes until they are slightly crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.
3) Cut out any large ribs from kale and chop kale into thin slivers. In a serving bowl, toss the slivered kale with about half of the dressing, a few tablespoons of shredded Parm, and half of the roasted chickpeas.
Top salad with extra chickpeas and parm and drizzle with a little more dressing. Serve extra dressing on the side.
Kale Chickpea Caesar Salad
The Chickpea Croutons
I love these things and can eat them by the handful. Drain and rinse your chickpeas and toss them with some olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. To be honest, I don’t really measure it. It just looks like this.
Spread those out in a single layer and roast them for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F. until they are crispy. Let them cool and try not to eat them all before you serve the salad.
The Salad Parts
Kale! People hate it. People love it. If you hate it, you could use Swiss chard for this recipe, but personally, I think it’s the perfect green for this recipe.
I like the purple kale for the color, but any variation will work fine.
The dressing is really easy. You don’t need a food processor for it. Just mince up the garlic clove and whisk everything together.
A classic Caesar salad dressing will have anchovies and some egg in it, but I left those out without too much worry.
This is a simplified, but still delicious, version.
Cut any big ribs out of the kale and chop it into slivers. Then add it to your serving bowl with half the chickpeas and some Parmesan. Toss it with half of the dressing to coat everything.
Then pile on the rest of the chickpeas and more parmesan cheese. Drizzle a little extra dressing on top and serve extra dressing on the side!
If you’re in a salad rut, give this guy a shot. I actually served this as a meal with my one pot cheeseburger pasta, but then I just ate a big bowl of it for lunch the next day also. It’s a great lunch salad option!
Eat your kale, people. Not just because it’s healthy, but because it tastes good!