A healthier twist on the classic greek salad. This chopped kale greek salad is loaded with so much flavor. The greek salad dressing just ties this whole salad together perfectly and the roasted chickpeas provide crunch like croutons!
Okay, so lately, meatless Monday has become like a 5 out of 7 day thing for us. I’m kickin’ back the meat just a bit and trying to enjoy all the delicious summer veggies and fruit we’re starting to get here in Texas.
So we’re talking about this bright, beautiful greek dressing and this yummy, nutritious, colorful, kale greek salad, today. And did I mention, we’re throwing on some roasted chickpeas as croutons for added crunch and protein. Ch-yeah, that’s how we roll. We’re packing in the veggies, sprinkling on the cheese, and drizzling in that dressing for one totally flavor-packed meal.
Growing up, my most favorite kind of food was Greek food. As a child, I loved spanakopita, classic greek salads, tzatziki sauce, gyros, and of course, baklava. I mean, who doesn’t love baklava? Every trip we made to the city with our parents required us to stop by the little Gryos shop deep in the heart of the city. The shop owner and my dad were on first name basis, and the guy would greet my dad with an old friend. I just love little mom and pop diners. They really just provide culture on a plate, don’t they?
I had my first taste of classic greek salad at this little gyros joint. I’m never going to forget it. It was a party in my mouth. Light lemon vinaigrette drizzled on top of a bed of crispy romaine, with cherry tomatoes, crispy cucs, luxurious kalamata olives, and the creamiest feta you’ve ever experienced in your life.
On my last trip to Chicago, this past summer, I tried my very best to find this little Gryos shop. I really wanted my husband to get a taste of my childhood. But unfortunately after days of searching, no. luck. chuck. I may have thrown in the towel there, but on our return to Houston, I set out to find that creamy feta cheese.
And I did! If you live in Houston, and you haven’t already, you absolutely need to go here. It is my most favorite place to shop these days. You can find aisles and aisles of ethnic foods. And they have the best deli section.
Their feta cheeses are made in house and have like 8 different varieties of them — no joke! My favorite — the classic greek feta. Creamy feta cheese made from sheep and goat milk. I’ve been so obsessed that it’s going into everything lately. My morning omelettes, frittatas, scrambled eggs with basil, burrito bowls (in place of cotija), and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Other than my feta cheese, my other favorite part about this kale greek salad is the croutons! Healthy croutons that it. They’re made with chickpeas that have been roasted in the oven. These little guys get all nice and crispy and give this salad the most delicious crunch. I live for crunchy salads!
All you need to do for the roasted chickpea croutons is rinse and drain a can of chickpeas. Let them dry completely. I like to put them on a baking sheet and just use a paper towel to gently wipe dry. Place them in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoons of olive oil 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. The smoky cumin gives these chickpeas the most amazing flavor. I could seriously munch on these guys while watching tv. Chickpeas are totally amazeballs.
- ROASTED CHICKPEAS:
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 10 ounces of kale, chopped (use your favorite kind of kale)
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 hot house cucumber, quartered and sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup crumbled good quality feta cheese
- ROAST THE CHICKPEAS: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the chickpeas on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Use another sheet of paper towel to dry the chickpeas, do so gently. When mostly dry, Place the chickpeas in a bowl, toss with the salt, chili powder, and cumin. Spread the chickpeas out on a rimmed baking sheet and allow them to bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool.
- DRESSING: For the salad dressing, all the ingredients in a bowl except the olive oil, starting whisking while you add the olive oil. Alternately, you can add all the ingredients to a mason jar and shake until combined. Dressing may separate after a few minutes, just take to combine.
- ASSEMBLE: In a large bowl, toss the kale with a few tablespoons of the salad dressing until coated. Add the remaining ingredients for the salad, along with the chickpeas. Toss with the salad dressing and serve. If serving for later, do not toss the kale in salad dressing.