There’s lots of flexibility with this recipe but the basic ingredients, kale and cucumber, provide the texture contrast that is (in my mind) necessary when eating cooked greens served cold in a salad. The kale is lightly steamed to get the most nutrition out of it. (I have had tough kale served raw in salads in restaurants–terrible idea!) Let the onion, garlic, garbanzo beans, and herbs marinate ahead in order to blend the flavors. Cucumber and any other vegetable you add need to be crisp and crunchy so add them before serving to prevent them going limp.
4-5 cups of kale, chopped fine, removing tough stems
1 cucumber sliced lengthwise and chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup cooked chick peas
1/3 cup chopped olives, optional
1/4 cup total minced fresh herbs of your choice, I used dill and thyme and basil. Dried herbs can be used instead–1 tsp dill weed, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper, optional
1/2 cup crumbled goat feta cheese, optional
1/4 cup chopped scallions or fresh chives, optional
salt, black pepper to taste
In a medium-sized salad bowl, place lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion, chickpeas, and herbs. Stir well and cover and place in refrigerator. This step can be done a few hours ahead or even overnight so that the onion and chickpeas especially have the chance to marinate.
An hour or so before serving, steam the kale in a vegetable steamer for 4-5 minutes over simmering water with the lid cracked a little. Keep your attention on them with an occasional stir so they do not overcook–taste every minute and as soon as they are slightly tender but not totally limp remove from steam and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Add these to the other mixture, stir well. Now add the cucumber and red pepper if desired. Salt and pepper to taste and serve. It’s good leftover but I much prefer it fresh.