Tuesday, November 15, 2016

#Thanksgiving week -- Crunchy Kale and Chickpea Salad

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: My constitutional law professor liked to joke that there are two kinds of people: those who constantly divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.

Let me suggest another way to divide the world: people who insist on eating the same dishes for a particular holiday, year after year, and those who like to mix things up.

Count Mr. Right and me in that latter group. It may be because we are both cabooses, much younger children in our families, and have never actually been allowed to become the hosts of annual family gatherings! Or for me, it may be memories of less-than-stellar holiday cooking. (My mother was an indifferent cook, but a FABULOUS pie and Christmas cookie baker!) Or perhaps, we just enjoy experimenting with the amazing variety of foods available this time of year, which was not the case in our childhoods. (And as proof of the amazing differences between children in the same family, my husband would make tacos for Thanksgiving, while his sister puts her serving dishes away after each holiday meal with a note in them about what dish they hold!)

So if you enjoy rearranging your menu from time to time, this dish is perfect. Plus it counts as both the salad course and a vegetable dish, leaving more room for mashed potatoes and pie. (Maybe not on the same plate, especially if you’re a gravy fan—another way we could divide the world!)

Patting the chickpeas slightly dry allows them to roast rather than steam. The chickpeas and dressing can be prepared ahead of time, with the kale sauteed and the dish assembled just before serving.

Crunchy Chickpea Kale Caesar

2 - 15 ounce cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
scant 1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large bunch kale
olive oil, for sauteeing
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
additional Parmesan for serving, if desired

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pat the chickpeas dry and toss them, on a rimmed baking sheet, with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking and turning the baking sheet occasionally to cook evenly. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Trim the kale, discarding any tough stems, and roughly chop it. Heat oil in a large pan and saute briefly, 2-3 minutes; greens should remain well-colored and tender-crisp. Place in a large flat serving bowl.

Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and stir to mix. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Top with chickpeas and additional Parmesan.

Serves 6-8.

Wishing you all a lovely Thanksgiving – thank you for being part of the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen community!

Are you a traditionalist, or a daring holiday cook? 

From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. What a tasty idea.
    I like the idea of roasting the chickpeas. That must add a lovely crunch.
    I'll have to skip the red peppers, pretty as they are. They have an unfortunate habit of repeating on me. Perhaps some cherry tomatoes for color?

    1. Libby, yes -- add a few cherry tomatoes, halved, on top before serving. (What is it about bell peppers that bothers some people? Must investigate!)

  2. I like trying new recipes but my family like traditional dishes for the holidays.

  3. I suspect I now fall into the daring category as over the past year we have moved into becoming vegans. And this recipe will be right up our alley! Thanks for sharing!

    1. LOL -- yes, a vegan must be daring at the holiday table! The dressing does include a bit of Parmesan, and I don't know what non-dairy substitutes are available.

  4. Enjoyed checking out the recipe. I love all kinds of beans & am always looking for new ways to use them.

  5. Awesome recipe!
    Kelly Braun