This salad is a simple delight. The creaminess of the chickpeas, the crunch of the walnuts, perfectly steamed vegetables, lemon and herbs make for a hearty and delicious melange that could easily be a meal in itself.
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 handful string beans, tipped, tailed, and cut in half
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 medium zucchini, cut into crescents
1/4 cup walnuts
1 head kale, ribs and stems removed
1/2 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
white wine, dry vermouth, or stock (to deglaze, about 4 tablespoons)
Steam the cauliflower, zucchini, and string beans until just done. If you cut all the vegetables roundabout the same size, they'll all be done at the same time when you steam them all together. The zucchini and green beans should be bright green, the cauliflower should be softened but still have a bite to it. Reserve.
Saute the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp. olive oil until translucent. Add the steamed vegetables and chickpeas and stir to coat them lightly with the olive oil. Add your liquid and gently scrape to get any brown stuff off of the bottom of the pan. There should be a good deal of steam in the pot with this, at which point you add your kale. Gently mix the kale into the veggies just a little, and cover. Let this cook about a minute or until the kale has softened and shrunk a little bit. The goal is to just barely cook the kale. Remove from heat. Add the zest and juice of half a lemon (if you don't have a microplane, don't bother....but its such a fun tool, you may want to consider buying one!), season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and walnuts, and serve warm or at room temperature.
My shift at work is 12-8 and I generally try not to eat after 8pm, so I pack lunches that I won't mind eating the other half of for dinner. These "casseroles" are my favorite, and a great way to use out leftovers. Adding a little liquid to this dish kind of brings it all together when you reheat. I had leftover French onion soup so that's my base here (spaghetti sauce, beans, or even just stock is great too) If you have your oven on, cook something extra! Being able to whip up lunch from leftovers in minutes is crucial to us workers always running around! Bake or nuke, or even have it cold.
I've been cooking since I was seven. Institute of Culinary Education grad and NYC trained chef. Food dork. Health nut. Bounty Hunter of beige foods. I don't think there needs to be a separation between food that's good and food that's good for you.