“What’s your favorite food?”
I don’t have children, but if I did I would equate this question to picking a favorite child. Simply put, how the heck can you pick a favorite food? There are far too many delicious foods out there for me to settle on one. When asked this question, I cheat and answer with a cuisine and sometimes even a combo of two cuisines. My answer lately would be ‘Greek / Middle Eastern’ - curries, grains, lentils, hearty vegetables, earthy spices, beans, olives, lemons, the list goes on - these ingredients have been my life blood this season. I realize Greece is not part of the Middle East, but I think the two cuisines share a lot of similar flavors and staple ingredients… and, like I said, I can’t pick favorites when it comes to food.
This salad is eaten at least twice a week in my house. Sometimes with balsamic roasted tofu, sometimes in a pita, sometimes with leftover quinoa mixed in, regardless I haven’t met a version I don’t like. A few weeks ago I was browsing Food 52 and stumbled upon a dressing recipe that uses sourdough bread instead of dairy to achieve a creamy texture - genius! It’s been the go-to dressing on my kale Greek salads ever since. The sourdough gets pureed in the blender or food processor with the other dressing ingredients and soaks up the oil and vinegar creating a velvety texture. When massaged into the kale, it sticks to the ribs and helps them soften and break down a bit, turning the raw slightly bitter greens into much more delicate, delicious ones.
kale greek salad with creamy sourdough dressing + chickpea croutons (vegan)
dressing recipe slightly adapted from Food 52
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp high heat oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup sourdough bread, crust removed, torn into small pieces
2/3 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 large or 3 small bunches of laminate kale, chopped into bite size pieces
1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Preheat oven to 425. Toss chickpeas with oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and onion powder and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile make the dressing. Pulse garlic, vinegar, mustard, maple, oregano, bread, and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender or food processor. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to soften the bread. With the motor running, gradually add in 1/3 cup olive oil and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place chopped kale in a large salad bowl and pour half of the dressing over it. With your hands, massage the dressing into the kale. If all the kale is not coated, add more dressing. Repeat this process until all the kale is evenly coated. Add the chopped vegetables, chickpea croutons, and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!