This hearty Mediterranean Kale Salad with roasted chickpeas, artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and pine nuts is brightly dressed in a lemony dressing for a filling lunch or healthy dinner.
There’s not much more that can be said about kale salads that hasn’t already been shouted from the rooftops. Just as popular as it was 10 years ago, a stout kale salad is still a mainstay in my quest to eat more plants and follow the Mediterranean Diet philosophy. I mean, if it looks good and it tastes good, it’s gotta BE good.
This slivered kale salad starts with the same ingredients in my Kale Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts and then piles on more good-for-me Med ingredients. Briny kalamata olives and capers are tossed with sweetened sun-dried tomatoes, toasty pine nuts and roasted chickpeas for texture. It’s all dressed in a lemony vinaigrette that softens the kale and makes every bite shine.
What’s In This Mediterranean Kale Salad
- Lacinato kale—also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Champagne or white wine vinegar
- Roasted chickpeas—make them ahead of time to toss on oh-so many dishes
- Artichoke hearts—choose the quartered artichoke hearts brined in water
- Sun-dried tomatoes—choose those brined in oil for a softer bite
- Kalamata olives—pitted are best in salads
- Finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Toasted pine nuts—toast in a dry pan over medium-low heat
- Capers for little salty tangy bites—if not a fan, you can leave them out
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prep the Easy Lemon Dressing
Add a touch of vinegar to this mostly lemon dressing. Bright and flavorful, a small amount of vinegar balances this lemon-forward dressing. Whisk it together in a bowl or shake it up in a jar with a tightly fitted lid. This salad’s hearty leaves can handle plenty of dressing and even benefits from it, so don’t be fearful of using too much.
Let the salad rest before serving. Once the salad has been dressed, let it stand for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. It can be refrigerated and eaten as leftovers for 1-2 days and still taste pretty dang good.
How to Make Mediterranean Kale Salad
Use slivered kale for the best bites. Eating a forkful of raw, fibrous, leafy kale is a far different experience than eating tender spring lettuces. There’s a reason this stuff grows heartily in the cold. That’s why fresh kale tastes best with the ribs removed and then sliced into thin strips.
Get in there and massage the dressing into those kale leaves. Hearty to the core, raw kale tastes best when massaged into submission. Drizzle the leaves with half of the lemony dressing and work your fingers into the leaves until they become soft, tender, and glossy.
While the kale leaves are resting, roast the crispy roasted chickpeas. Sure you could add plain chickpeas here, but roasted chickpeas with Parmesan cheese brings the umami, while plenty of black pepper lends a nice bite.
Add the Mediterranean-inspired toppings and more dressing to taste. Instead of using oil-packed artichokes, I prefer artichokes brined in water for their clean flavor. Use any type of olive you like most—a spunky green would be delish—just be sure they’re pitted so they’re easy to eat.
Meal Prep This Salad
Because of its hearty ingredients that won’t wilt or get sad right after slicing, this salad is awesome for eating through the week. Prep the ingredients ahead then toss and serve.
Substitutions and Additions
- Add roasted tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes, or toss in roasted red bell peppers for more sweetness
- Add slices of easy baked chicken breasts or grilled Greek marinaded chicken
- Slices of perfectly ripe avocado add creamy smooth bites
- Try this salad with crispy baked garlic shrimp or leftovers from last night’s grilled shrimp
- Make a bowl of it with cooked quinoa or serve it over perfectly cooked white rice
What to Eat With This Mediterranean Kale Salad
- Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Crispy Baked Garlic Shrimp
- The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
- How to Make the Best Grilled Salmon
- The Best Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Mediterranean Kale Salad
- 8 ounces lacinato or dinosaur kale , to make about 8 cups chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice , divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts , drained and sliced in half
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil , from a 4 ounce jar, drained and slivered
- ¼ cup kalamata olives , pitted then sliced
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup capers , drained
For the Roasted Chickpeas
- 15 ounces garbanzo beans (chickpeas) , rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Rinse the kale leaves and pat dry. Trim the stalky veins from the leaves and discard. Cut the leaves into very thin slices and place in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl or glass jar fitted with a lid, combine the lemon juice with the olive oil, vinegar, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the chopped kale with 2 tablespoons of the dressing then use your fingers to massage the kale leaves for a few minutes until it becomes glossy and reduces in volume. Let the kale stand for about 30 minutes for the leaves to soften.
- While the kale rests, roast the chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 400°F then rinse and drain the chickpeas and pat dry. Place the beans on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat. Bake the beans for 25-30 minutes, or bake longer for extra crispy beans. Remove from the oven, cool, then toss with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Toss the kale salad with more dressing to taste then add the remaining ½ cup Parmesan cheese, cooled roasted chickpeas, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, toasted pine nuts, and capers. Toss to combine and season with more dressing if desired and salt and pepper.
More Kale Salad Recipe Ideas
- Kale Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts
- Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- Chopped Mexican Kale Salad
- Kale Salad with Cranberries, Apple and Cheddar Cheese
- Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing
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