Summer Chickpea Kale Salad with Feta, Olives & Basil

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Hey all! Hoping everyone had a great week! Today’s post is a quickie as I head off to a day of discussion, sharing, driving & fun with a big group of my co-workers somewhere deep, deep in the woods where cell phones don’t work. Yup, it’s time for our annual team building retreat weekend in the BC Wilderness where the bears roam freely and so do the ideas. But don’t worry, we will be in cabins safe & sound πŸ˜‰ I have to duck out early to be back for a special event this weekend, which means driving 3 hours home to get back for the morning. It’s going to be a big day, and one I am really looking forward to (a long summer nights drive alone with good music? My kind of fun).

This recipe was conceived last weekend after drooling over two recipes on fave blogs of mine. While my blog reading has been almost non-existent this summer (something I miss), I do know a hit of inspiration when I see one, and when these two ladies posted recipes with similar summer ingredients within what seemed like a week of each other, my brain was stuck with no turning back.

Angela at Oh She Glows posted this beautiful summer platter of chickpea salad over tomatoes, and along with it some very practical thoughts on cooking up your own chickpeas (which is something I do more often than not). Not long afterwards, Sara at Sprouted Kitchen posted this gorgeous shredded kale with tomatoes, olives & feta.

You can kind of see where I’m going here right?

I present to you a killer combination of many of my favorite things. With summer bounty everywhere and basil & tomatoes by the bucketful, this salad brings together wonderful vibrant flavors, gorgeous color, and loads of good healthy veggie vibes all ’round. It’s a goodie.

Summer Chickpea Kale Salad

The Less:

Less traditional bean salad means more imagination in your mealtimes. Less grain based dishes means fueling up on veggies & proteins. Fewer cooked foods in the summer means more enzymes in your vegetables, so enjoying their peak of freshness brings extra life & vital energy.

Β The More:

More home-cooked chickpeas means less waste & cost of recycling. More kale in your meals means more super-food nutrition. More brightness on your plate means more smiles during meal times, soΒ  food can be a feast for the eyes and for the tummy.

Summer Chickpea Kale Salad with Feta, Olives & Basil:
  • (4) cups cooked Kabuli chickpeas*
  • (2-3) cups packed green curly kale, minced
  • (1/3) cup kalamata olives, pitted & minced finely (about 20)
  • (1/2) cup cubed feta cheese
  • (1) clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4) cup minced red onion (optional)
  • (4) tbsp olive oil
  • (2-3) tbsp red wine vinegar
  • (1) tsp salt (or to taste)
  • black pepper to taste
  • (1) pint cherry tomatoes
  • fresh basil leaves (from the garden or about one 6-8 leaves)

Combine the cooked beans, chopped kale, olives, feta, garlic & red onion (if using) and toss gently together. Stir in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper and adjust to taste. Mix all gently to incorporate the dressing. Halve the cherry tomatoes and toss them in just at the end, reserving a few to leave on top for color. Just before serving, tear a generous amount of fresh basil leaves and scatter over the top.

*I can’t stress enough how easy it is to cook chickpeas from scratch, as I know there are so many that are intimidated by it. The only thing required is a little foresight for the soaking and a spare hour to cook them. The results taste just so much better than the canned beans and save lots of energy, waste, and money in the long run. Dry chickpeas require soaking in plenty of cold water for at least 8 hours or so, after which they can simply be rinsed with more cold water, and cooked in a large pot with plenty of more water. Combine the soaked chickpeas with double the chickpea volume of fresh water, and bring this to a boil. Simmer the chickpeas at a light rolling boil for about an hour (with the lid half on), or until they are soft. You can add a teaspoon of salt to the water while cooking as well to add flavor. When soft, drain, rinse, and store the cooked beans in a container covered with water in the fridge (my mom packs them in small yoghurt containers and freezes them in hummus size portions). If you have yet to do this, I highly suggest it as the home cooked beans are superior in every way.

Summer Chickpea Kale Salad

This salad is sturdy and will keep very well in the fridge. As it sits, it will get better and the flavors stronger, so enjoy it through the week as an add-on to a vegetable dinner or as a small nutritious packed lunch.

My garlic loving teenager ate this all up before I had a chance to enjoy, so that’s always the sign of a hit πŸ™‚

Summer Chickpea Kale Salad

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ShiraSummer Chickpea Kale Salad with Feta, Olives & Basil

48 Comments on “Summer Chickpea Kale Salad with Feta, Olives & Basil”

    1. Shira

      Hi Laura! So sorry for the delay here! I think this yields about 5-6 cups of salad — about enough for 6 or so as a side I think, or about 3 hungry veggies as a main dish salad. I hope you like it!

      1. Laura Peterson

        Thanks so much, Shira! I’m really looking forward to making it, perhaps over the Labor Day weekend. πŸ™‚

  1. Annie

    Basil: check!
    Chickpeas: check!
    Olives: check!
    Tomatoes & red onion: check!
    Kale: check!
    Yep, has all of my favorite ingredients!

  2. LuAnn

    Shira, Although I haven’t commented lately, I wanted to let you know that I am so grateful for your recipes. My husband recently has had a recurrence of prostate cancer and I am all about the nutrition side of this illness. Your recipes have made it so much easier for me to be creative during this time. Thank you so much.

    1. Shira

      LuAnn, I am sad to learn of your husbands condition and send you all my love & thoughts to help in his healing. It moves me a lot to hear that you are leaning on some of my recipes πŸ™‚ Way to charge ahead with the right approach — -please let me know if I can be of any more help. xxxox

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  9. Arianna

    I made this for a party the other day and it was absolutely delicious! I’m not a fan of olives so we left that out. So refreshing in this Florida sun and a great side for the bbq. Thanks for a great recipe! Definitely a keeper.

  10. Elise

    Just wanted to say that I make this salad ALL the time now–always in a big batches since it’s so good leftover. My FAVORITE summer salad, and always the hit of the party any time I bring it to a gathering! Thank you for the inspiration! (I add lots of extra onions and olives, because I love them so much!)

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    1. Shira

      You can use whatever you like! Any other beans would work well – black beans, kidney beans or french lentils.

  12. Deb

    I made this as a side dish the other night and ended up taking the leftovers to work for lunch. It was awesome! I can’t wait to make it again!

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  14. Sarah Alexander

    Hi Shira! I detest most vegetables, but many in my husband’s family are vegetarians, so when I am preparing for them, I try to keep in mind that they need a full and hearty meal too, so I like to come up with new, colorful and delicious meals for them. For Easter I chose this summer kale salad and oh my gravy was it a hit! Everyone, even the meat eaters, enjoyed it, and my sisters in law fought over who got to take the left overs. There was barely enough left for two meals, so they divided it in half. HA! Thank you , so much. I will keep on checking your site for inspiration!

  15. Abby

    Oh my goodness! This salad was spectacular. Only made half the portion because I wanted to try it first ands my family isn’t big on olives. But the olives, cheese, kale, basil and tomatoes made it to die for! I even added some cooked mushrooms and spinach. Trust me, my mouth and tummy were happy. I had this with a cashew butter/banana sandwich on wheat bread – best lunch ever and I had some salad left for dinner. Yum. Thanks Shira in helping in my quest for cleaner eating!

  16. Colleen

    I made this salad for dinner last night and it was incredible!! Definitely a keeper! I added some red pepper to it and used white wine vinegar instead of red and it was just delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. April

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe, and make it every Sunday to have for the week at work. I am curious however, do you know about how many calories there are in a serving? I probably eat 2 servings at one time when having this for lunch, and 1 serving when using as a side dish. It is sooooo good!!!!!

  19. june brown

    When I tried printing off the Soba Noodle &Vegetable Salad, I got all the comments along with it. What am I doing wrong?

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  21. Mary Guerenabarrena

    Love this recipe! It’s all the items popping right now in our garden. Can’t agree more about the chick peas – I soak mine during the day and cook in slow cooker w/ stock overnight! This also works great for lentils and it’s wonderful to have fresh legumes on hand.

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  25. Donna

    This was delish! Even my meat-lovin’ husband liked it! I .chopped the kale and massaged it with the EVOO first, then added the rest. I left out the salt, cuz, you know. Thank you for inspiring me!

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