Kale & Sweet Potato Salad with Harissa Roasted Chickpeas & a Harissa Ranch Dressing

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring nor does it have to break the bank.

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad with Harissa Roasted Chickpeas & a Harissa Ranch Dressing

The last 2 days have been really hot here in N. Dallas which is a sure sign that spring is here, it also means summer is just around and “bulking season” is over. What better way to shed that bulk…eating healthier and smarter like this salad. This sweet potato & kale salad is SOOO GOOD, but not only that it’s loaded with things that are really good for you. This is filling enough as a dinner salad and you can save the L.O’s for lunch. You can make vegan by using dairy free yogurt and vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast.

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad with Harissa Roasted Chickpeas & a Harissa Ranch Dressing

This salad tickles all of your senses with the crispness of the kale, crunchiness of the roasted chickpeas, sweetness from the sweet potato, saltiness form the Parmesan, tartness from the limes, creaminess from the avocado & dressing and spicy heat from the Harissa. Harissa, North African hot chili pepper paste, (or spice) the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti peppers or serrano peppers, spices and herbs such as garlic paste, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, cumin and olive oil to carry the oil-soluble flavors, it’s extremely versatile. That’s ding, ding…ding on the flavor train. You can can use any kale but we used Tuscan kale a.k.a Lacinato kale and Scarlette kale which is deep purple.

Tuscan kale a.k.a Lacinato kale and Scarlette kale which is deep purple.

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 3 small sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch circles
  • ¼ cup scant, extra virgin olive oil (scant means slightly less than ¼ cup)
  • 1-2 teaspoons Harrisa spice (depending on your heat level taste)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 x 14 ounce (400g) can chickpeas a.k.a garbanzo beans
  • 2 heads kale, removed from the stems and hand tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. 
  • ½ large lime, juiced (zested 1st and set aside for dressing)
  • 2 avocados, sliced into wedges
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved with vegetable peeler, about ½ cup (125ml)

Harissa dressing

  • ⅔ cups buttermilk or plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 large lime, zested & ½ juiced
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated or minced into a paste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Harissa paste (depending on your heat level taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, combine the sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, Harissa and salt. Toss well to evenly coat. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the chickpeas and remaining oil. Toss with the sweet potatoes and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, until the chickpeas are crisp and the sweet potatoes tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the kale and lime juice. Toss and gently massage the kale to soften it. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. 
  5. Add the roasted sweet potato and roasted chickpeas (reserve some to sprinkle on top) to the kale. Toss with ⅔ of the dressing, top the salad with avocado and shaved parmesan. Drizzle with remaining dressing. B

Note: The dressing can be made up to 48 hours in advance, refrigerate until ready to use. The salad keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge, add the avocados and Parmigiano Reggiano just before serving.

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