Everybody is raving about kale. It’s a must-have super food and I’ve seen so many requests from people asking for suggestions and ideas on what to do with it. An obvious choice for kale is a soup, where the earthiness of kale and it’s sturdy structure add an interesting bite to it. Many also recommend using kale in smoothies, which I am not really all that interested in doing.
Another obvious choice is to use kale in salads. Unfortunately, kale is really sturdy and the only option you have for using it in salads is to go with baby kale. I used baby kale in the past, like in this salad full of great flavors of roasted beets, leeks, baby kale, and lemon vinaigrette.
But, recently I started playing around with ways to make kale work in a salad form, and discovered that the best way to do it is to sauté the kale to soften it. Also important is to remove all the big stems first – they are tough and chewy, so best removed before cooking. This makes the prepping process a bit tedious – you need to take a bunch of kale, wash it, remove the stems, and chop it – and very often I don’t really feel like doing it. You can buy chopped kale these days; however, most brands don’t do a great job at removing the pesky stems, so you will still need to inspect the kale carefully and ensure that all stem bits are out.
So, is this salad worth the fuss? Perhaps the best way to determine is to try it once and see what you think. I recommend serving it warm, just a bit above the body temperature, but cold works too!
Warm Kale and Chickpea Salad
What you’ll need:
1 lbs (454 g – call it 500 g) stemmed and chopped kale
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup cooked chickpeas (from the can or homemade)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
What you’ll do:
- De-stem kale with care, and chop roughly.
- Place a large frying or sauté pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Next, add the sliced garlic and let it sauté for just a minute.
- Add the kale and mix well to incorporate all the garlic. Let the kale sauté for 8-10 minutes. The kale should be fully cooked!
- Add balsamic vinegar, mix well and keep the heat on for 1-2 more minutes.
- Turn the heat off, add the chickpeas, and salt and pepper (if using) and mix well.
- Transfer the salad into a serving dish, and let it stand until just warm. The leftovers will store well in the fridge for 2-3 days, and you can enjoy this salad without reheating. Makes a great stuffing for a pita bread sandwich!
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2018