The Genius Super-Salad

April 27, 2018
7 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Our creative director Kristen Miglore and I collected some of our favorite Genius salad elements, tossed them in a bowl, and came up with this beauty. It’s everything we want in a desk lunch: hearty chickpeas and creamy feta, tangy onions and olive oily dressing, plus so much crunchy kale and cabbage. We developed this at-home version for you (and okay, us) to make as often as possible. We based the quick-pickled onions on this recipe by fiveandspice. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • Quick-pickled onions
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salad
  • 2 cups chopped, stemmed curly kale
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup peeled, cubed (about 1/2-inch) red beets (raw!)
  • 3/4 cup cooked or canned, rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup pickled red onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for dressing
  • Red wine vinegar, for dressing
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cubed
  1. Pickle the red onion. Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a bowl and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. You could heat the water and vinegar first, or not. Add the onions and toss. Let stand for at least 30 minutes, tossing now and again. If you’re not using them right away, store in the refrigerator.
  2. Combine the kale, cabbage, beets, chickpeas, pickled onions, cilantro, feta, and pepitas in a big bowl. Dress with oil, vinegar, and salt to taste. Top with avocado.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Kate Monson
    Kate Monson
  • DonnaM
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

10 Reviews

Taylor S. August 27, 2020
Loved loved loved this!!
nplante June 28, 2020
What a delicious combination of ingredients. I will be making this salad again soon. It holds up well when made in advance if you just add the avocado before serving.
Marionw January 28, 2019
Using this recipe as a basis, I made mine with finely shredded raw Brussel sprouts instead of kale/cabbage, and omitted the pickled onions (no time...) and chickpeas. I added 6 salt-packed capers because I find they greatly enhance the flavor of raw or roasted beets. It was scrumptious! Thanks for the great flavor combination.
eveross June 24, 2018
This was a big hit- served it for a solstice dinner with some vegatarians at the table so it served as both a salad and a main course at the same time. I pressure cooked the beets instead of using raw. Also didn't use avos as they turn brown over time. After rinsing and draining I peppered the chick peas then added them to the salad... added protein and texture, and feta added salt. I thought I would have lots of leftovers instead almost all eaten! Delicious!
Kate M. May 24, 2018
Made it for my generally salad hating family. They actually liked it! Did make some adjustments. Used pickled beets, dropped out chick peas (hubby's not a fan) and used toasted pecans because that's what I had besides pine nuts, also used spring greens instead of kale because the greens were threatening to go bad if left another day. Anyway, now that I'm writing this out I'm realizing I kind of made a different salad, but it was delicious and I'm crediting this recipe. :)
Ttrockwood May 6, 2018
I can’t deal with raw kale unless it’s massaged, so i rubbed the dressing into it first and let it sit while i did the pickled onions and chopped everything else. I can’t have dairy so i added in a small handful of capers to get the salty oooph of the parm and also added some kite hill (almond) cheese for.

So delicious! I think i will shred the beets fine next time, I wasn’t into the raw cubes- felt like trying to eat little pebbles.
Taylor S. May 5, 2018
This is my new favorite salad!! I've had this for dinner two nights in a row now, and the ingredient combination is so unusual but doesn't feel at all random. Instead of beets, I used roasted broccoli in paprika and cayenne. I also substituted a very salty Parmesan for the feta and didn't toast my pepitas because I was so hungry! LOVE LOVE LOVE.
DonnaM April 29, 2018
The pickling directions mention sugar - but it is not listed in the ingredients. Can you tell me how much sugar??
Emma L. April 29, 2018
Thanks for the catch, Donna! Just added to the ingredient list. It's 1 teaspoon, but you can certainly adjust this to taste.
DonnaM April 29, 2018
Thank you Emma! I can’t wait to make this :-)