Baby Kale Salad with Lemon, Parmesan & Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

5 stars based on 3 votes

baby-kale-salad-with-lemon-parmesan-roasted-chickpeas-

Kale, a.k.a. the “queen of greens,” is one of the healthiest things you can eat, but it doesn’t always taste great raw. In fact, I once read an article that likened the experience of eating raw kale as feeling like your mouth was being battered by a giant tree. But a good kale salad, prepared properly with the right mix of ingredients, can be a revelation.This version — made with tender baby kale, crispy roasted chickpeas (love!), nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano and a zingy lemon vinaigrette — is just that. It makes a satisfying and healthy lunch all on its own, or a perfect side to jazz up a simple rotisserie chicken for dinner.

ingredients

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about the two main types of kale. The first is Curly Kale, the kind you see in most supermarkets, which is dark green with tight ruffled leaves. It has a pungent, peppery flavor and is quite chewy, making it better for cooking (especially kale chips). The second is Lacinato Kale (also called Dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale), which is typically a dark blueish-green color with long, narrow leaves. It’s slightly sweeter and more delicate than curly kale, which makes it better suited for salads.

To serve kale raw in a salad, you have to remove all the thick ribs running through the leaves, chop the leaves finely and then let them marinate in the dressing so they soften up.

baby-kale

For this recipe, I decided to forgo all that and use tender baby kale instead. It has a milder flavor than mature kale, similar to arugula, yet its leaves are still peppery and sturdy enough to stand up to bolder flavors. It comes pre-washed and ready to serve, so even though you might have to make a trip to Whole Foods to find it, it will save you time and effort in the end.

rinsing-chickpeas

Begin by rinsing and draining the chickpeas.

tossing-chickpeas

Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 10 minutes, until the chickpeas are slightly browned and crisp.

roasted-chickpeas

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.

dressing

Toss the kale with the dressing.

tossing-salad

Use a vegetable peeler to shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

shaved-parmesan

Transfer the kale to plates and top with roasted chickpeas and shaved Parmesan.

baby-kale-salad-with-lemon-parmesan-roasted-chickpeas-

Note: If you can’t find baby kale, feel free to substitute any other deep green blend, arugula or Lacinato kale (you’ll just have to chop the leaves and let it marinate a bit).

Baby Kale Salad with Lemon, Parmesan & Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Servings: 2-4
Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5oz Bag or Container Baby Kale or Kale/Dark Greens Mix
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano-Regianno

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place the chickpeas on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring once, until the chickpeas are slightly shrunken and crispy. Let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the greens and toss until evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a bit more salt). Arrange on plates and top with Parmigiano-Regianno shavings and crispy roasted chickpeas.
  4. Note: If you can't find baby kale, feel free to substitute any other deep green blend, arugula or Lacinato kale (you'll just have to chop the leaves and let it marinate a bit).

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 342
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Sodium: 940mg
  • Cholesterol: 10mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Is there some way of keeping the roasted chickpeas for a day? I re-roasted them but they were not great.

    - Margaret on July 27, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Margaret, Unfortunately, roasted chickpeas are really best served immediately. Sorry!

      - Jenn on July 28, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve personally never been a huge fan of kale because it can get bitter fast, but decided to plant some in my garden and pledged to harvest it early since it’s so good for you. I also have never been able to eat kale raw except when blended into a fruity smoothie, but was determined to find a way to eat it in salad form. This recipe was the first recipe that popped up in my google search and boy am I glad I tried it. My husband and I both love love LOVE this recipe. We honestly eat it a couple times a week, and it has become the go-to salad of choice to serve to guests. We’ve had some people turn their nose up at kale, but every single one has been converted once they tried it. It’s THAT delicious.

    I generally make it exactly as written, but tend to eye the S&P. Definitely do not skimp on these, I made it last night and was a little light, and it definitely made a difference.

    - Casey on July 17, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was the 2nd recipe I tried on your site. I was intrigued by the roasted chickpeas. The simplicity of the recipe and the nutritional value of the ingredients used makes this another winner. I’ve done this recipe 3x already and have shared this recipe with a co-coworker. When I roasted the chickpeas the 2nd time, I tried it with grated lemon rind and it even made it better. This is a keeper.

    - Eileen on July 9, 2014 Reply
  • Made this yesterday for a Memorial Day cookout – it was delicious and easy to make! Overall, this is a great salad and everyone liked it.

    - Jill on May 27, 2014 Reply
  • Healthy and really yummy. My teenage daughters and friends love it too.

    - Annie on May 10, 2014 Reply
  • This salad is delicious! I will definitely make it again. Thank you for all the tips through out your recipes.This is a great website. Thanks for sharing!

    - Debbie Page on March 18, 2014 Reply
    • Thanks, Debbie. So glad you enjoyed!

      - Jenn on March 20, 2014 Reply
  • Simple salad that tasted great! As with everyone else, I had to hold back on eating all the roasted chick peas before assembling the salad. Everyone loved it.. Even my 3 and 5 year olds ate theirs :)

    - Carleen on February 6, 2014 Reply
  • What a great salad! Our 7 year old even asked for seconds. Thanks so much!

    - Sarah on January 22, 2014 Reply
  • YUM! Who knew roasted chickpeas were so delicious? I’m eating them straight as I wait for the hubs to get home for dinner. They may all be gone before it’s time to eat the salad. Thanks!

    - Sarah on January 15, 2014 Reply
  • Made this for dinner tonight with the organic power greens salad mix. I loved it. Light and healthy. My husband isn’t a big kale or chard fan so I’ll have to try it again with arugula an spinach for his taste.

    - Danita on January 10, 2014 Reply
  • Made this tonight along with the English muffin pizzas. Wanted to make something quick after dealing with the Xmas shopping rush. The salad was good. Even ate the roasted chickpeas alone while I waited for the pizzas. Thanks for the recipe.

    - Melinda on December 5, 2013 Reply
  • Know this will be very good thx

    - Suzan on December 5, 2013 Reply
  • I recently had a very similar kale salad, which I LOVED!! It, additionally, had red pepper flakes in the dressing. Gave it a little kick. YUM.

    - Debbie Hudson on December 5, 2013 Reply
  • Thanks for the recipe! This is very similar to a recipe on Food52 the only difference being the call for roasted butternut squash and diced cheddar cheese. I will definitely be making this!! Love your site and recipes!

    - Erin McNamara on December 5, 2013 Reply

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