Kale salad with crispy chickpeas and garlicky cashew dressing
There are some kitchen combinations that will never grow old. Avocados and toast, cookies and milk, cumin and lamb, and of course: kale salad and crispy chickpeas. At least in my kitchen.
I make some variation of this kale salad when I feel like a detox, or know I’ll need a healthy veggie side at a potluck. I love dino kale because it’s versatile, filling, tasty, sturdy, and makes me feel like I’m scrubbing out my insides. By the time I’m done nibbling, I usually have at least half the batch of crispy chickpeas to throw in the salad. I typically make a sweet and creamy dressing with a nut or tahini base, or use my favorite miso dressing from the local grocery store.
It’s great as-is or you can make it a heftier meal with protein (chicken, egg, etc), carbs (roasted sweet potatoes, grains), and/or crunchy toppings (pepitas, crispy shallots). As long as you’ve built a firm foundation (by that I mean flavorful and slightly wilted, don’t forget to massage your kale people!), kale salads are a personal adventure.
1 bunch dino (lacinato) kale
1 can chickpeas
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp onion salt
1/4 cup hot water + more as needed to thin
Cover cashews with boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Let soak at least 30 minutes (this will soften nuts & ensure everything is smooth when blended). Alternatively: soak in room temp water 8+ hours or overnight
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drain and rinse chickpeas, then toss on a lined baking sheet with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and paprika. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until tender with crispy, golden brown edges.
Wash the kale and strip leaves from stems. Discard stems, and tear leaves into bit sized pieces. In a large bowl, toss the kale with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage in a scrunching motion with hands until tender and slightly wilted.
Drain cashews and blend with garlic, mustard, honey, onion salt, and 1/4 cup hot water until smooth. Taste, adjust seasonings and add hot water to thin as needed.
Toss kale with dressing in a large serving bowl, top with crispy chickpeas, serve and enjoy!
all photos taken by the lovely Ophelia Ding