Roasting adds another dimension to one of my favorite pantry staples, canned chickpeas. It makes them crisp and crunchy and a wonderful gluten-free substitute for croutons in this not-so classic version of Caesar Salad.... If you’re going through cancer treatment, don’t hesitate to make this even easier by buying pre-cut and pre-washed kale. It may not be the softer leaved Lacinato kale, but not only will it taste the same, if you check out my tips below on softening the leaves, it won’t matter a bit.
On a baking sheet, arrange chickpeas in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and cool.
In a large bowl, combine kale, roasted chickpeas and Caesar dressing. Mix thoroughly until dressing evenly coats kale.
Kale is very fibrous. By “massaging” the leaves of kale with your fingers, it helps to break up the fibers, making it easier to eat. If you’re not into the veggie massage business, this can also be achieved by either tossing the kale with a few tablespoons of lemon juice, which will help to break down the fibers in the kale, or you can simply toss your kale in the Caesar dressing and let it sit and ‘cook’ for 30 minutes or so before eating for the same effect. If you go this route, add the crispy chickpea ‘croutons’ just before eating so they don’t get soggy.