The only question I have about this salad is why have I not made this before? Seriously it's so easy, tastes incredible and to top it off it's high in nutrition, I know that I will make this again and again.
For years we've been getting a similar salad at Whole Foods in their prepared food section. They call it Mediterranean Crunch Salad. I looked at their website and they have a recipe, but it's not like the one in the store. And I was motivated to make this salad because the last time I had the WF salad it was really disappointing, the kale leaves were too big, not enough dressing, not much of anything else, it was more like a plate of kale with nothing on it. And believe me this recipe is so much better and so easy to make I'm embarrassed to say I ever bought it pre-made.
I was also inspired to make this because I have a bag of Rancho Gordo garbanzo beans and wanted to try my hand at making them. I've never made the beans before, all these years I've only bought chick peas in a can. They're very easy to make so no more cans for me! There are a couple different ways to prep the beans for cooking, either by soaking or pre-boiling, but it was recommended to soak the beans as it retains more nutritional benefits.
You soak them for 4 hours and simmer for 50 minutes to an hour. I set a timer for 1 hour and they were more than done, falling apart a bit, so I would recommend checking them at after 50 minutes or so. I've read a few recipes and some say to cook up to 4 hours, but I can't imagine these beans cooking any longer than 1 hour. If you have any experience cooking them I'd love to hear from you in the comments section.
So there it is, a new dish is born (for me) and I'm not intimidated to cook garbanzo beans!
Photo notes: (and I apologize for not putting more photo notes on this blog, I get so caught up in the recipe and the process of cooking that sometimes the styling and the photos take a back seat) For this shoot I used a 50mm lens, the sun was in and out behind the fog and was becoming unreliable, If there's direct sunlight coming in I'll close the curtain and get a really nice light, but if it's cloudy, or rather foggy here in San Francisco, I'll leave the curtain open for sufficient diffused light, so it was curtain open-close-open-close, lol, it was a great reminder that I need to polish my skills with studio lighting for greater control.
Recipe below. Enjoy.
Kale Crunch Salad
- 3 cups kale, chopped fine
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (recipe below)
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 lemon - juice squeezed
Sort and rinse 1 cup of dried beans. In medium bowl place beans and cover with water, let soak room temp for at least 4 hours. Rinse the beans and place in pot, add water to about 1 1/2 inches above the beans. Cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Rinse in colander and set aside to cool. (1 cup of dried beans will yield about 3 cups cooked beans)
Kale Crunch Salad
Place kale, pepper, scallion, cucumber, olives and garbanzo beans in large bowl. In separate bowl whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Add to salad and toss to combine with salt & pepper to taste. Top salad with feta cheese when plating.
I keep the cheese separate because this salad holds up really well in the fridge and it's nice to have the cheese fresh if you want to store any salad for leftover. But you will most likely eat the whole thing because it's so good!