I’m a big fan of kale salads. Kale is hearty and earthy, lasts a little while in the fridge, and a big salad for lunch or dinner always feels like a good choice. Salad topping combinations are limitless, but here I’ve chosen to roast some of my favorite vegetables and chickpeas. The warm roasted vegetables are paired a bright lemony-yogurt dressing make this recipe perfect for any time of year.
Though you can use any root vegetables you like, I used sweet potatoes and beets. They compliment each other very well and are both hearty enough to make this a solid dinner option. To keep everyone on their toes, I used purple sweet potatoes and golden beets. (My husband accused me of trying to trick him.)
Though I would love to sit here and tell you that the reason I chose these varieties has a legitimate culinary explanation…. I cannot. Though I love the flavor of the classic red beet, I hate cooking with them at home. My kitchen always looks like the scene of a terrible accident after peeling beets, so I have learned to avoid at all costs. Golden beets have the same earthy flavor I love, with a fraction of the mess. The purple sweet potatoes were on sale.
About halfway through the roasting process, I made some room on the sheet pan for some chickpeas. This way, the chickpeas get some texture to them, but you can still pick one up with your fork. If you would prefer your chickpeas crunchy and almost crouton-like, add them to the sheet pan at the beginning of the roasting process.
Kale Salad Dressing
While the vegetables and chickpeas are roasting, I make the dressing AND dress the kale. Conventional salad wisdom tells us to only dress a salad right before serving, but kale salads are rule breakers. The dressing, plus a little massage, helps to make the kale more tender and delicious, and not like a bowl full of rabbit food.
After whisking the yogurt, lemon, olive oil, and grated garlic together, season with a little salt and pepper, then pour over the chopped kale. Then, using a pair of clean hands, toss the dressing with the greens, giving it a little massage along the way. There’s no need to massage each individual piece. The dressing will continue to do its thing on its own and the warmth from the roasted veggies and chickpeas will also wilt the kale slightly.
If you are looking for more recipes featuring sweet potatoes, check out my Leftover Ham and Sweet Potato Hash.
- 3 medium beets peeled and cut in ¾” pieces
- 1 large sweet potato scrubbed and cut in 1” pieces
- 1 bunch lacinato kale tough stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF and line a half-sheet pan with foil or parchment paper (optional, but easy cleanup!)
- Toss your chopped beets and sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a big pinch of salt, and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat, and arrange on the prepared sheet pan in an even layer, careful not to crowd the vegetables.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the beets and sweet potatoes have started to soften a bit. Using a spatula, flip them once, then nudge them to the side of the sheet tray to make room for the chickpeas.
- Toss the chickpeas with a half tablespoon of olive oil, a big pinch of salt, and some black pepper. Add them to the sheet pan with the sweet potatoes and beets, and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- While the vegetables roast, whisk together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the kale and toss to coat using clean hands. While tossing, gently massage the kale, as if you are trying to lightly press the dressing into the leaves.
- Toss the roasted vegetables and chickpeas with the dressed kale. Delicious warm or at room temperature.
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