The thing about salads in winter, is – they have to have some ooomph there, you know what I mean?
In summer I’ve been known to eat a head of romaine plain, one leaf at a time…munch, munch, munch. But in winter I like meal-worthy salads with hearty components like beets, apple, sweet potatoes and more.
With garbanzo beans, slow roasted tomatoes, kale and a garlicy-lemon dressing, this salad definitely fits the bill. I made a big batch and ate this for lunches for nearly a week. It holds up quite well in the fridge. And if you warm it – boom! – you’ve got a really nice side dish for roast chicken.
Salting Kale and Other Cooking Greens
The first step in this salad is to salt the kale and onions. If you are short on time you can skip this bit, but it does improve the texture and flavor of the salted ingredients.
The basic concept is this: kale is a bit tough raw, and can be strong in flavor. Onion is also pretty pungent when raw. Salt tenderizes (wilts) and draws out some of those bitter and pungent flavors. The end result is a milder, more tender kale and less pungent onions.
After salting, the kale and onions are rinsed in cold water and spun dry.
Larder staples garbanzo beans and slow-roasted tomatoes round out this salad. If you didn’t put some slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer last summer, you can substitute oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes or dried tomatoes.
If you substitute plain dried tomatoes, rehydrate them in warm water with a splash of apple cider vinegar until soft and pliable. Before adding rehydrated tomatoes to the salad, cut them into small pieces, and toss in a bit of olive oil if desired before adding to salad.
Printable Recipe for Kale and Chickpea Salad
- 2 bunches Cavolo Nero kale, tough stems removed and finely shredded
- 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup slow roasted tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized chunks (see note)
- 6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) olive oil
- Zest plus 3 to 4 tablespoons juice from a fresh lemon, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Add shredded kale, sliced red onion, and 1 tablespoon salt to a large bowl. Toss until evenly coated. Allow to rest at room temperature until kale and onion are lightly wilted, about 1 hour.
- While kale and onion are wilting, make the salad dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, mustard and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Rinse kale and onions with cool water, then spin dry in a salad spinner. Wipe out your bowl with a clean, lint-free kitchen towel and return the dry kale and onions to the bowl.
- Add the garbanzo beans, slow roasted tomatoes, and reserved salad dressing to the bowl and toss everything together gently but thoroughly.