Chicken and Kale Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

For a taste of one of our editor’s go-to lunch spots, try this restaurant-inspired composed salad that combines kale, quinoa, avocado, and more with a zesty lemon-cumin vinaigrette.

To make the cucumber extra crispy, plunge it into an ice bath after prepping and before serving.

1 large bunch (4 tightly packed cups) dino kale, stems and tough veins removed, thoroughly dried and torn into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For chicken:
1/2 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 carrot, cut into 3-inch pieces
1/2 lemon, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
For dressing:
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
For salad:
1 cup cooked red quinoa, cooled
1/2 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup English cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch half-moons
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup whole roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1. Massage the kale: Transfer kale to a large mixing bowl. Add in 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and, using your hands, massage the kale for several minutes or until leaves become glossy and tender. Cover with plastic wrap; allow to sit for four hours or up, ideally overnight.
2. Poach the chicken: Place onion, celery, carrot, lemon, garlic, peppercorns, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a straight-edged deep pot; fill with 2 inches of water, then bring to a boil over high heat. Add chicken, keep uncovered, and return to a boil for 3 minutes; turn off heat and allow chicken to sit, turning over halfway, until cooked through, about 18 minutes. Let cool; using a fork, shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
3. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, add lemon, extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, cumin, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste.
4. Serve the salad: Divide kale evenly between two bowls. Layer each with 1/2 cup quinoa, then top bowls with 4 ounces chicken, 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup cucumbers, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1/4 avocado, and 2 tablespoons almonds.

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