This Lemony, Kale, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad massages a raw kale salad with avocado mash and a lemony dressing. Plus, it’s simple and easy to customize for all eaters!
“Life used to be easy.”
This is the first line of the introduction in my friend Susan Pridmore’s new cookbook, Simply Vegetarian Cookbook: Fuss-Free Recipes Everyone Will Love, and I could have written the entire section myself. I almost felt as though she had taken a telescope and looked into and written about my life — when cooking used to be as simple as firing up the grill, passing some beautifully marinated meat to my husband to fire, while I focused on some simple salads and side dishes.
But like Susan, there have been changes with the eaters in my family. My daughter has returned to her pescatarian ways, and my husband has kind of followed suit…he now eats mainly fish, but also is pursuing a less cholesterol-laden diet, which has changed the way I approach desserts. My son is still happily omnivorous. As for me, well, if you remember, I’m kind of like a part-time vegetarian — plant based by day, omnivorous by night.
With so many kinds of eaters in the family now, well, cooking dinner has become more challenging. I wonder if it’s the same in your house?
I first met Susan last year at an intimate cooking class up in Sonoma, and how serendipitous, because her book came at the perfect time as my mindset has had to shift when it comes to cooking. I’ve always said I would never be a short order cook, and her new cookbook shows me that I don’t have to be. While she is a vegetarian (her blog is aptly called The Wimpy Vegetarian, you should check it out and find out why), her husband most certainly is not, and each of her recipes offers flexitarian tips to please all the eaters in your family.
Flexitarian is such a good word, by the way. I’m really feeling like one these days.
Kale Salad with Avocado
This Lemony Kale, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad is the kind of kale salad with avocado my family already enjoys and a great base on which to build on. It’s in her Five Ingredients chapter, proof that delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated, but if you’re like me, and can’t resist complicating things, then feel free to riff on it! I added a little bit of roasted garlic to mine, for example, and swapped out curly kale for lacinato, and sunflower seeds for pumpkin. And for the flexitarians (like my son!), her recommendation of adding roast chicken to the salad is spot on.
Life used to be easy, but it turns out, it still can be.
Lemony Kale, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad
- 1 avocado halved
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 bunch kale stems removed and discarded, leaves coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- Scoop the flesh from one of the avocado halves out of its skin and put in in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice an 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and mash everything together. Add the coarsely chopped kale leaves and massage them by hand with the avocado mash until the kale becomes tender. Place the kale-avocado mash on a serving plate.
- Remove the flesh of the remaining avocado half from its skin and chop into bite-size chunks. Please in the bowl that contained the kale, and add the chickpeas.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Drizzle over the chickpeas and avocado and toss to combine. Pile on top of the kale-avocado mash, and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds.