Kale Salad and Acorn Squash with Parmesan Chickpeas and Lemon Basil Dressing


It's almost October, yet it's still 90 degrees in LA. I for one love warm weather, but I am ready for fall! If the weather doesn't resemble autumn, I guess I have to just take control in my kitchen and whip up some seasonal dishes — although roasting food in the oven when you don't have A/C isn't exactly ideal. But that's okay, this salad is worth it, even just from those crispy chickpeas alone.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 cups kale leaves
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Ingredients for Parmesan Chickpeas

  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Dash of pepper

Ingredients for Lemon Basil Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • Juice of 4 small lemons

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse chickpeas and place them between two paper towels to dry.

2. Scrub off your acorn squash and slice crosswise into 1/2 in slices. Spread on one half of an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.  

3. In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, parmesan cheese, and a dash of pepper. Toss until chickpeas are evenly coated. Add to the other side of the baking sheet, spreading so no chickpeas overlap. Bake squash and chickpeas for 30 minutes.

4. While squash and chickpeas are roasting, add kale leaves to a bowl along with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a dash of salt. Massage with your hands to soften kale leaves. 

5. Prepare dressing by blending together olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, and lemon juice until smooth. 

6. When squash and chickpeas are finished, add to salad. Top with avocado and cherry tomatoes. Finish off with basil dressing.