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My Favorite Kale Salad

I make this salad probably once a week during the colder months. Kale is hardy and lasts a while in your fridge before going bad, which is perfect if you are limiting time in the grocery store, and does well as leftovers even after dressed in a salad. I love this salad too because of the lemony-peppery dressing - very bright and fresh and perfect for winter!


My Favorite Kale Salad

As all of my favorite recipes are, this one is very simple and easily adaptable. I like crispy chickpeas on top but other veggies, meat, quinoa, etc. could easily be added, and it is very nice on its own without any toppings, too. Without the optional cheese, it is both vegan and gluten-free. This recipe was adapted from this one by 101 Cookbooks.

Makes 3-4 servings

Prep time: 10-15 minutes


  • 1 large bunch of kale. My favorite is lacinato but any type will do.


  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • ~1/4 c plus a bit extra freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

  • Juice from 1 lemon (~1/4 c)

  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

  • A bit of black pepper

Chickpea Topping (optional)

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1-2 tsp parmesan cheese

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Remove the stems from the kale and chop or tear into small pieces. Add to a large salad bowl.

To make the optional chickpea topping:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.

  2. Add the chickpeas, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high heat for ~5 minutes.

  3. Add the cheese, stir, and cook for another couple minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until salad is ready.

To make the dressing:

  1. If you have a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic clove with the salt to form a paste. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, mince the garlic and combine with salt using the back of a spoon in a small bowl.

  2. Add the garlic/salt mixture to a small bowl and add the cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a bit of pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

  3. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss thoroughly. I also like to massage the dressing into the kale with my hands for a minute or two to make it a bit more tender (particularly if I'm not using lacinato).

  4. Top kale with the chickpeas and a bit of parmesan cheese, serve, and enjoy!



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