Kale and Hazelnut Salad with Falafel Croutons and Orange Sumac Vinaigrette

I was seriously late to the kale-loving game. In years gone by I stocked my fridge with heads of romaine and wee plastic boxes of arugula and mixed greens which as a member of the “single and ready to mingle club,” seemed to always wilt on the asap.

I love that kale has a significantly longer shelf life than other salad greens, is jam packed full of nutrients and is incredibly versatile whether tossing in a salad, grinding into a pesto, or scooping into a soup.

This particular kale salad is inspired by flavours of the Middle East. You’ll enjoy the crunch and munch of nuts and seeds, a subtle orange and sumac spiked vinaigrette, which once tossed is topped off with mini falafel croutons.

Ingredients Falafel Crouton:

1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

5 tablespoons chickpea flour

Vegetable oil for frying

Directions for Falafel Croutons:  

In a food processor combine chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, baking powder, cumin, salt, lemon zest and juice. Pulse until chopped. Add chickpea flour and pulse until fully incorporated into a dough.

Roll dough into small olive-sized balls. Add a dab of vegetable oil to a frying pan and fry falafel balls on each side until golden brown.

Ingredients Orange Sumac Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

grated zest and juice of 1/2 orange

1 teaspoon sumac

pinch of cayanne

Directions Orange Sumac Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, worcestershire, orange zest and juice, sumac and cayenne. Whisk until blended.

Kale Salad Ingredients: 

4 cups stemmed and finely chopped kale

1 cup cooked barley

1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas

1/4 toasted pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Kale Salad Directions: 

In a large bowl toss together kale, barley, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts. Dress salad with vinaigrette. Serve topped with crumbled feta and falafel croutons.

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