How to make a kale salad with autumn pears and chickpea ‘croutons’

Prep time 20 mins | Cooking time 15 mins | Serves 4-6

8862 edit

Want to know how to make a tasty kale salad with autumn pears and crunchy chickpea croutons. Keep reading! Photographs by Nicholas Rider.


Autumn is officially here and I’m quite happy to embrace it in all its glory. Especially because it is one of my favourite times of year to cook. Think warm stews with a touch of spice, roast lamb, chicken with crispy potatoes and the endless cookies, cakes and tarts which make use of the last of the seasonal fruits. I’m going to take some kale and pair it with pears (pardon the pun) in this great autumn salad which is a meal in its own right. The best bit are the crunchy chickpeas which are so easy to roast and make a great snack on their own. This hearty autumn salad is packed with crispy kale, juicy pears and crunchy chickpeas and makes the perfect lunch

Send me your photos by tagging #whatsbrendoncooking and #brendonthesmilingchef on Instagram and Twitter!



  • 1 can organic chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup firmly packed kale leaves, washed, ribs removed
  • 3 medium ripe pears


  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Roast the chickpeas. Pre-heat an oven to 180ºC fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Drain the chickpeas and place into a colander or sieve. Rinse under cold running water to remove the excess salt from the canning process. Drain well and spread out on the prepared tray. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil. Using clean hands (or a spoon) toss the chickpeas to coat. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until they are crunchy and golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Make the salad. Tear the kale leaves up into bite-sized pieces. For a finer salad you could gather the leaves together and finely shred using a sharp knife. Place in a large mixing bowl. Wash, core and slice each pear into 6 wedges. Add to the leaves along with the roasted chickpeas.

Make the dressing. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add to the dressing just before serving and toss to coat the leaves and pears. Serve the salad with warm bread or as an accompaniment to pasta.

Brendon’s Tips:

  • Don’t throw away the ribs from the kale leaves. Chop them up and add them to soups. They’ll soften down and provide a satisfying burst of green.
  • Leftover chickpeas make a great snack. You could add a pinch of cumin or chilli powder with your seasonings and oil before baking as a nibble to serve with drinks.

I love receiving photos of your kitchen creations. Send me your recipes and dishes by tagging #brendonthesmilingchef and #whatsbrendoncooking on Instagram or Tweeting to @bthesmilingchef. Let me know what you’re making today by leaving a message in the comments section below, or send me a message via my social networks.

Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon 🙂



3 Comments Add yours

  1. looks delicious!


    1. Thanks so much Appetite Deluxe! It’s very healthy too which is awesome and a perfect filling lunch. Try it out! 😉


I love to read your comments as much as I love cheesecake. Leave me a message below so we can continue the foodie discussion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s