Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Kale & Chickpea Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing

I buy kale compulsively: whenever we go to any sort of fruit market, I catch even a glimpse of those curly emerald leaves and I'm on them like nobody's business.

I wish I could say it's because I love the taste, but unfortunately... well, before too long, those gorgeous emerald leaves are looking a little yellow and I either panic and make kale chips or just give in to the inevitable and chuck them out.

So, yes, unfortunately I buy kale because it's ridiculously good for you, not because I like the taste. Weirdly, I always seem to forget that with a little bit more work, it's tasty and good for you. So, today, I opened up the fridge, saw a bit of kale left over from... well, it can't have been that long ago (...) and decided to make myself a salad.

This is a bit of a fusion between the chickpea and avocado salad I take to uni and a massage kale salad. And it's ridiculously easy AND good for you!

Kale & Chickpea Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing
What You Need
Medium to large bunch of kale
Good quality olive oil
Dash of lemon / lime juice
2 large or 4 small avocados
Harissa, or your favourite hot spice mix
1 small capsicum
Can of chickpeas

2 bowls (one for serving the salad, one for mixing up the avocado)
Knife & chopping board

Now That You're Ready
1. Strip the kale from the stem: the easiest way to do this is to hold the stem with your left hand, wrap the thumb and index finger of your right hand around the stem where the leaves start, and pull down. Cut into strips (place on the chopping board, bunch up, and cut across every centimetre or so) and place in the serving bowl.
2. Drizzle enough olive oil in the bowl that the kale will be coated (around 1-3 tablespoons, depending on how much you're using). Add salt (I did around 6 twists of the salt grinder: using a grinder is good because the more coarse grains of salt will really help with the next step),a twist or two of pepper, and the lemon/lime juice (a little more if you'd like the flavour to come through a bit more).
3. Get your hands in there and start massaging it! Rub the oil, juice, salt, and pepper into the kale leaves and almost knead them together. This will make the leaves softer (and thus easier to chew) and will also help get rid of some of the kale "taste". Continue for about 2 or 3 minutes (or longer or shorter depending on how you like your kale), then set aside.
4. In the other bowl, add the avocado flesh and mash with the fork. Add a pinch of salt (again, add a little more to taste if you'd prefer) and about half a teaspoon of the spice. Mix until combined, then add a little more salt and/or spice until you're happy with it. Set aside.

Is it basil and tomato???! No, it's kale and capsicum! Oh, I bet you're excited now.
5. Drain the chickpeas (I'd also recommend rinsing them briefly to get rid of the can taste). Dice the capsicum (as big or as small as you want it!). Add them both to the kale and mix through.
6. And finally, add the avocado dressing into the bowl with the kale and mix through. You're done!

If you recycle dishes like we do (ha), wash out and dry the bowl that previously contained the avocado, and serve up the salad in that. Or just use a clean bowl like normal people. Or just eat it out of the serving bowl like I do. Garnish with a sprinkle of salt flakes and a twist of pepper.



  1. Kale, chickpeas and avocado — three of my favorites. We found a giant bag of kale at Costco that they call mixed organic baby kales. (Yes, kales.) It's filled with little kale leaves, and requires us to stay on top of the situation so as not to waste an entire bag. We've been pretty good so far, but you know the fate of too many greens in the fridge ...

  2. Hi,

    We've recently launched the site, where users can search through thousands of recipes from the best Australian food sites and blogs.

    We noticed that you have a lots of delicious recipes on your blog and would like to suggest you have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here:
    Follow the instructions on our site to add your own food blog to the list.

    Our concept is already live in France, Germany, the UK, the US and Spain, and we deliver thousands of visitors to food blogs daily. You can also find us on Facebook by following the link below:

    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on Hopefully your food blog will be up there in the top!

    Warm regards,


We absolutely love getting your comments. Really. Truly. If you have something to say, we'd love to hear it. Just think of the vibrations of excitement you'll give us, and how your good deed for the day will be done.