Brown Rice Salad with Kale and Roasted Chickpeas

This was a hit at our house tonight! In thinking about something to cook for the CSA pick-up this week (read about that here), I remembered something a friend made once in college: brown rice with kale and raisins. The combination of nutty brown rice, slightly bitter greens, and naturally sweet raisins works really well. So I took the idea and ran with it, inspired by this recipe I found. This is a great way to use up your abundance of CSA greens this summer! It would work well with swiss chard, spinach, or beet greens, too.

If you don't LOVE greens, try this recipe. I do love greens, but I hardly noticed them. If you love them, add a little more! Don't forget they cook down.

This recipe may seem complicated at first glance, but most of the steps involve getting something going and all but forgetting about it. While the chickpeas are roasting and the rice is cooking, wash the dishes or play with your toddler. :)

Brown Rice Salad with Kale and Roasted Chickpeas

roasted chickpeas:
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. olive or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1.5 cups chicken stock
1/2 t. salt

3 cups chopped kale or other greens
1 T. coconut oil
2 cloves garlic (I used garlic scapes from last week's CSA pick-up)
a small squirt of thai hot sauce
salt to taste

other ingredients:
1/4 c. chopped onion (or more to taste)
chopped tomato or bell pepper (optional: use when in season)
1/3 c. raisins (eyeball it)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. honey
cumin, thai hot sauce, sea salt, and pepper to taste

1. Roast the chickpeas.
On a baking sheet with sides, toss together the ingredients for the roasted chickpeas. Cook at 400 degrees 25-35 minutes, stirring a couple times during cooking. Cook until browned and a little crispy.

2. Cook the rice.
Meanwhile, get your rice cooking. I soak my rice overnight or for at least 7 hours using this method. If you soak your rice, drain off the soaking liquid before cooking, and use less than 1.5 cups stock since the rice has absorbed some liquid. If not soaking, simply place the rice in a small saucepan with the stock and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to lowest possible heat, cover, and cook 40-45 minutes (a bit less if soaked).

Or just use 1.5-2 cups of already cooked rice.

3. Cook the greens.
In a cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat the coconut oil. Add the minced garlic and cook on medium heat a few minutes until it softens. Add a small squirt of Thai hot sauce (depending on how hot you like your food!). Add the washed, stemmed, and chopped kale and stir. Add salt to taste. Cover and cook for a few minutes until wilted and tender.

4. Make the salad.
Whisk together (or combine in a small jar with a screw top) the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and honey. When everything is cooked, combine the chickpeas, rice, greens, and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour the dressing over it. Stir, and then taste to check the flavor. Add salt, pepper, hot sauce, and cumin to taste. (If you salted all your other steps, you may not need any salt at the end. But the right amount of salt is a key factor in a successful recipe, so make sure to check!)


  1. This looks very interesting. I have some cooked chickpeas in my freezer! Maybe I'll try this this weekend. I could use something different.


  2. Hi Joanna,
    This is a wonderful summertime salad. I just love the combination of flavors in your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon. I am your newest follower. Have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

  3. Hello! Would this salad taste good if served cold?

  4. Lady Kay, yes, it would! We ate it slightly warm the first time, and had the leftovers straight out of the fridge for lunch the next day. It was great both ways! I hope that helps. :)

  5. This is such a delicious dish- thanks!