spiced chickpeas with kale and creamy garlic dressing

This recipe has been adapted from a wonderful food blogger, Minimalist the Baker, who I admire for her fresh, clean recipes and creative use of grains and beans in many of her dishes. Although this recipe does not center on a piece of meat or seafood, the spicy chickpeas pack plenty of flavor and protein to fill you up. This dish pairs well with rose wine; rose helps to balance the pungent garlic notes of the dressing and yields a clean finish.


  • Fresh garlic (1 head, broken into individual cloves with skin on)

  • Olive oil (5 tablespoons)

  • Canned chickpeas (2 cans; also called garbanzo beans)

  • Paprika (1 teaspoon)

  • Cumin (1 teaspoon)

  • Cayenne pepper (1 teaspoon)

  • Salt (1 teaspoon; reserve 1/4 teaspoon to season the dressing)

  • Fresh kale (1 large bunch)

  • Tahini (3 tablespoons)

  • Maple syrup (1 tablespoon)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spread garlic cloves on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until brown, fragrant, and soft when you squeeze.

  3. Remove garlic cloves and place on cutting board. Smash the cloves with the side of a chef's knife and remove the soft, inner garlic flesh from the outer skins. Place roasted garlic in a food processor; discard outer skins.

  4. While garlic is roasting, drain chickpeas in a colander and place in a small mixing bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Ensure that all chickpeas are evenly coated.

  5. Spread spiced chickpeas in a shallow baking dish and place in oven. They can bake while the garlic is baking. Chickpeas should bake for about 20 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Remove to let cool.

  6. While garlic and chickpeas are baking, prepare kale. To cut, place each large kale leaf face-down on cutting board and run a chef's knife along each side of the hard center stem. Roughly chop the kale leaves when all stems have been removed.

  7. Place chopped kale in a large salad bowl and sprinkle with salt. Massage kale leaves with hands until deep green and soft; this will make the kale more tender to eat raw in the salad.

  8. In food processor, along with the roasted garlic, add tahini and maple syrup and pulse until the mixture is a rough paste.

  9. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste to ensure proper seasoning; adjust with additional maple syrup or salt, as you prefer. You can also thin out the dressing with additional olive oil or hot water if too thick.

  10. Add dressing to kale in the large salad bowl. Toss until kale is evenly coated.

  11. Serve on plates or family-style, topped with the warm spiced chickpeas.