Any kind of kale can be used, but I just happened to buy one of those large bags of already cut, and cleaned kale, so it was even quicker to throw together, and perfect for a hot day, or light meal! The saltiness of the kalamata olives and feta cheese, pair amazingly with the fresh cucumber, sweet grape tomatoes, red onion, the firm chick peas, and the fresh leafy kale. The dressing is incredibly easy- just a basic vinaigrette that takes 5 min., (or less), to make! Whether you enjoy this as a meal in itself with some pita bread, or along with some grilled chicken, kebobs, steak, etc., you'll want to make extra to take to work for lunch the next day! (Like with any vinaigrette, the longer the salad sits before serving, the more the veggies soak up all of that great flavor. The kale will soften the longer the salad marinates, so you can always add more fresh to it prior to serving!)
Yield: 6 hearty servings (12+ if taking to a potluck, picnic, or party)
1 cucumber (chopped)
1/4 red onion (chopped or thinly sliced)
1 pint of grape tomatoes (rinsed and halved)
1 can (15oz.) of drained/ rinsed chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup of pitted kalamata olives (chopped or left whole) **can also use black olives as well
8 oz. (about 6 cups) of chopped kale (any variety- stems removed)
1- 4oz. container of Feta cheese (crumbled)
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic (minced or crushed)
1 handful of fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 t. dried oregano ( or 2 sprigs fresh- leaves removed and chopped)
1/2 t. basil
1 t. sugar
2 "glugs" of Olive or Grapeseed oil **Note: I don't necessarily measure!
salt & pepper to taste
For the salad: In a large bowl, simply add all of the salad ingredients, (except the feta cheese), and toss together.
For the dressing: Using a mason jar w/ lid or a blender bottle, (for protein shakes), add the vinegar, juice, herbs, garlic, sugar, and seasoning and shake to combine. Add the oil, and shake vigorously to emulsify. Pour about half of the dressing over the salad, toss well, and add more if necessary. (You may have extra dressing left over! You don't want to add too much- as it may make the salad too soggy.)
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate, or serve right away! ***Add the feta cheese right before serving!
***The salad is best after chilling for 2-4 hours to soak up all the flavors of the dressing. Best enjoyed fresh- within 3 days of preparing.
Extra dressing? Simply store in a jar or airtight container and use on your next salad!