A simple kale salad with chickpeas and avocado, this relies on a lemon-olive oil dressing and a pleasing presentation.
In the mood for kale? Then this salad will really speak to you. Make sure to massage the leaves well with the dressing for best mouth feel and tenderness. Serve with fresh bread or flatbread for a lively lunch, or a dinner salad course.
Are you new to massaging kale? There’s not much to it, but if you’d like more information, see How to Massage Kale (and a few delicious kale salad ideas).
A FEW NOTES ABOUT KALE
Though the crazed devotion to kale seems to have peaked, it’s still a vegetable that deserves a regular place in your rotation.
Kale is in the family of cruciferous vegetables, along with broccoli and cauliflower. It comes in several varieties, the most common of which are the curly green, lacinato (also called dinosaur kale), and Russian.
Lacinato kale has long, narrow leaves that are a handsome forest green, sometimes blue-green. Russian Kale is also curly, with red-tipped leaves and a slightly less sweet flavor than its monochromatic counterpart.
The mild, slightly sweet flavor of the curly variety is the most widely adaptable to all manner of preparations (including smoothies!), but lacinato and Russian kale are totally worth using if you happen to spot them.
Dressing (or see shortcut)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons agave
- 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
- 8 to 10 kale leaves, stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces (see note)
- Pinch of salt
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 good-sized avocado (or 2 smaller ones), peeled and sliced
- Barbecue seasoning (try mesquite or smoky maple) or dried hot red pepper flakes
- For the dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
- For the salad: Put the stemmed and sliced kale in a mixing bowl. Rub a small amount of the dressing onto your palms and massage the kale leaves for 30 to 60 seconds, until they turn bright green and soften.
- Pour another tablespoon or so of the dressing over the kale and stir until evenly coated.
- Divide the kale between 4 salad plates or bowls.
- Scatter the chickpeas evenly over each salad, along with the sliced avocado.
- Sprinkle each salad with BBQ seasoning or hot red pepper flakes. Serve at once, pass around the remaining dressing.
Use any variety of kale — the more common curly green, lacinato, or Russian kale which has a lovely red tinge.
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Photos (top and middle): Dron-M/Bigstock