Pressed Kale and Turmeric Chickpeas salad with Tamari Seeds
This Turmeric Chickpeas salad can be ready in minutes with leftover beans and nevertheless to say is super tasty. This salad has been a staple in my kitchen and is always a success with guests. Is actually my go to when someone is coming over last minute and I want to impress.
In Italy, chickpeas are widely used in soups, stews and warm salads, so it's a love affair for me. But you can use almost every bean you could have left. I like to eat this salad with avocado and dark french sourdough and tonnes of parsley.
As you probably know by now, I am a huge fan of home cooked food made from scratch. It's my way to reconnect with my life in the south, my Mediterranean roots and family heritage. As well as being my creative expression and an essential daily ritual, as quotidian as a good meditation practice. However, I love dishes that pull themselves together so when I am on other tasks of my life cooking do not become a burden instead of a being my usual pleasure. Ultimately, that is the approach to slow-living for me.
The reason why I bother cooking my beans instead of buying canned are a few, but the mains is waste-free approach and also liveliness of the food I want to eat. Said that cans can be 100% recyclable so occasionally they make sense.
I know so many people are scared and overwhelmed just thinking how much time the cooking will take.
So you can find a good bunch of practical tips on how to cook beans at the end of this post!
Prep time 15 min
Resting time 10 min
400 gr leftover chickpeas or 1 can of cooked chickpeas, well drained
300 gr curly kale leaves
1/4 of a purple cabbage
1 tsp turmeric
Pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
3+3 Tbsp tamari divided
2 Tbsp lemon juice (and the grated zest if you like it)
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 of a pink grapefruit
Black pepper to taste
Pinch of unrefined salt
a handful of pumpkin seeds
parsley for decor
Rinse the kale and the cabbage. Using your hands separate the leaves from the stalks.
Slice finely the purple cabbage with a sharp knife or a mandolin
Add kale, cabbage, 3 Tbsp tamari, 2Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp olive oil, black pepper to taste and the salt to a mixing bowl and start massaging with your hands until the veggies appear juicy and shiny. Leave to rest covered with a small plate on and a weight on top of the plate so it presses the kale down.
Meanwhile in a large frying pan add the rest of 3 Tbsp tamari and 2Tbsp of olive oil, the turmeric sesame seeds and some smoked paprika. Let it start frying and then add carefully your well-drained chickpeas.
Keep frying on high flame for a minute or two, when the chickpeas start to have a meaty smell. Set aside.
Add to a small pan your seeds and toast them for a short time, until they are golden and start popping, switch off the flame and splash with a tiny amount of tamari, stir and leave to cool.
Clean some sections of the pink grapefruit from the transparent inner skin.
Add the pressed kale&cabbage, the chickpeas, the grapefruit to a serving dish and sprinkle with the seeds and parsley.
As said, I eat this salad with avocado and toasted sourdough bread. Mmmmh delish!
I have several types of beans in my pantry but I would advise buying 3-4 to start. Then I have tofu and seitan as alternatives, good for making quick lunches or a sandwich. Some of the easiest legumes to cook are lentils, aduki beans and cannellini beans. Red lentils are usually split and so are super quick and don't even need soaking.
Truth is beans need time to cook BUT not your time. You just need to be around to switch on the flame, reduce and then switch it off when cooked. Still, I know cooking beans is not sexy or instagrammable BUT make your dishes so much more lively and tasty. So let me break down the process for you through some practical tips.
1. Plan ahead your proteins for the week. (Monday lentils, Wed Aduki, Thus chickpeas, Fri hummus w leftovers....)
2. Invest in a pressure cooker, if you do not have one yet, get one. (20 quid c'mmon). They absolutely safe and I use mine daily. I love t, and I couldn't function without. With a pressure cooker, you half the time of any cooking and the beans become more soft and digestible. Have 3 litres and 5 litres. The 2 litres is the one I use for beans and stews.
3. Sunday night put to soak in the fridge 3 fav beans for the week. I have them soaking in recycled glass jars.
Soaking improves digestibility AND dramatically cut down the cooking time. Many people complain that forget about the beans and they go mouldy. So keep them in the fridge and visible.
Among mine are often beluga lentils for a salad, azuki for a stew and my beloved chickpeas, a jolly in the kitchen. But other yummy alternatives are kidney beans, butter beans, haricot... to mention some.
I religiously pick up the softer legume first (lentils or butter beans) and leave as last the one that requires longer soaking (chickpeas can happily swim in there for 3 days).
4. After soaking, wash and rinse the legumes before cook to get rid of all the possible phytic acid that makes them difficult to digest.
5. Go and Discover Kombu or Kelp. It is a seaweed that can be found in Japan, France and UK coasts. Rich in mineral makes your beans cook into super soft gems! Throw in the pot a stamp-sized piece per serving and cook the beans with it. You don't have to eat the seaweed.
6. Buy a flame deflector. I think I paid mine 50p. A flame deflector is not a gadget from Star Wars, but a little metal plate that stands in between the gas flame and the pot. It really helps with preventing to burn your food if you forget it there for a bit too long and improve the lifespan of ceramic pots.
7. Will next week be a crazy one? After the first day of soaking, rinse and drain the beans and let them sprout in the fridge. Just leave them in the jars to sprout. Eat them in a salad or cook them in a quarter of their normal cooking time.
Hope this helps, but of course feel free to ask if you need more! xx