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.
Greens, grains, protein, vitamins, and minerals! This salad has it all. I invite you to use whatever you have in your refrigerator (corn, chickpeas, tofu, leftover fish or veggies, rice, nuts, pickles, WHATEVER! it's all good). Kale provides a nice sturdy base and it's earthy, vegetal flavor doesn't get lost under all the add-ons. Massaging the kale makes it soft enough to chew easily. If you get bored after 20 seconds of massaging someone's back, don't worry! It only takes about ten to get the kale where you want it to be. Do you need the parsley? Not at all, it's your salad. However, adding a little of any fresh herb (mint, cilantro, tarragon, celery leaves, chervil, or even thyme works) to your salad really takes it to the next level, I wouldn't skip it!
YOU WILL NEED:
one bunch kale, ribs and stems removed. USE YOUR HANDS
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
any veg you have hanging around, amounts aren't really necessary, we are just building a salad, after all. I used
-1/2 carrot (grated)
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
-a few pieces of baked tempeh
-roasted sunflower seeds
- about 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
-1/2 red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon mustard (any kind)
juice of 1 lemon + zest (if you have a microplane)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic
(a scoop of hummus, nutritional yeast, a tablespoon of goddess dressing, a bit of mashed avocado or a little tahini are all welcome here as well.)
Wash your hands. You'll be using them a lot.
Add the mustard into a large mixing bowl, use your hand to smear it a bit around the inside of the bowl. If this weirds you out, you can use a rubber spatula. This step ensures that you won't get a bite of salad with an entire teaspoon of mustard hidden in it.
add your kale leaves into the bowl, and massage it in your hands until the green color deepens a bit, and the leaves are softer. You'll be able to see this change, and it only takes a few seconds.
Add the rest of your salad ingredients, add whatever you like. If you are using softer ingredients like avocado or a boiled egg, you can leave these aside and arrange them on top once the salad is dressed.
Drizzle the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic on top. Add a little salt and pepper and get your hands in there! Toss the salad thoroughly with relaxed hands, getting the dressing all up in everything. Dressing a salad like this means you need less liquids and fats to get the full flavor of a well dressed salad, without wilted greens or bland tomatoes.
Wash your hands, serve it up, and vow to never eat boring salad again.
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.