Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Garlic Houmous

This kale and quinoa salad with roasted garlic houmous is by far the most requested recipe from our Shine Yoga retreat in Cornwall. I adore creating and serving this feast of a salad to the yogis on the retreat and I also love the time, just before dinner, when we sit outside in the sunshine chatting and taking it in turns at the BBQ, turning the aubergines and courgettes that will proudly adorn the salad.

The different elements in this meal work together beautifully to create a vibrant, delicious and exciting banquet that’s ridiculously good for you and full of flavour. Roasting the garlic for the houmous mellows and sweetens it, so you get a delectably luscious, creamy and flavoursome accompaniment to the colourful and lively salad.

If you’re having a summer BBQ you must try this! You can prepare the kale and quinoa salad and roasted garlic houmous in advance, then just BBQ the aubergine and courgette when the coals are hot (a hot grill or griddle pan also work wonderfully if it’s not BBQ weather). This dish is vegan and gluten free and I promise anyone you serve this salad to will be utterly wowed by it!

Have you tried this salad on our Shine Yoga retreat in Cornwall? Comment at the bottom of the page and tell me what you thought. And if you make this I’d really love to know so leave me a comment below.

Here’s a picture of this kale and quinoa salad from our last Shine Yoga retreat. The BBQ aubergines were awesome!

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Roasted Garlic Houmous

Serves 4 (with leftovers)



For the roasted garlic houmous:

  • 5 bulbs of garlic (yes really!)
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt, taste
  • 100 – 200ml water
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)

For the kale and quinoa salad:

  • 100g kale (1/2 big bag)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling.
  • salt
  • 285g jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (140g drained weight)
  • 285g jar of roasted marinated peppers in oil (140g drained weight)
  • 250g cooked quinoa*
  • 8 spring onions 
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds
  • large bunch basil (21g)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2 courgettes


Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Start by preparing the roasted garlic for the houmous. Remove the outer papery layers from the bulbs of garlic and chop the very tops of the bulbs off so you can just see the bright white cloves. Place the bulbs on a piece of aluminium foil, drizzle over a little olive oil and rub it over the outsides. Wrap the bulbs in the foil and roast the foil parcel of garlic in the oven for 45 minutes.

While the garlic roasts tear the tough stems from the kale leaves. Shred the leaves with a knife, or tear into small pieces with your hands. Put the leaves in to a large bowl, squeeze over the juice of 1/2 lemon, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Use your hands to firmly massage and scrunch the kale leaves with the dressing until the leaves look wilted and feel softer.

Drain the oil from your jar of sun-dried tomatoes into a bowl or measuring jug. Pour the oil back in to the now empty jar, screw the lid back on and set aside. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes in to bite size pieces. Drain the oil from the jar of marinated peppers (no need to save this) and chop them in to bite size pieces too.

Add the peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and quinoa to the kale. Chop the spring onions finely and add them to the bowl along with the mixed seeds. Finely chop the basil and add that to the bowl. Squeeze over the juice of the remaining 1 and a half lemons. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, add 1 tbsp of tahini and a pinch of salt. Stir everything together.

After 40 minutes remove the garlic from the oven. Leave it to cool while you start to prepare the houmous. Put the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and salt in the food processor or blender. Pour in 100ml of water. When the garlic is cool enough to handle squeeze out the soft cloves from 2 of the bulbs in to the food processor. Put the other 3 bulbs in to the jar of sun-dried tomato oil jar and store in the fridge to eat later!*

Blend together all of the ingredients, adding more water as you need it until you reached your desired consistency of hummus. Make sure you blend the houmous well so its really smooth and creamy. Spoon the houmous in to a bowl and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Slice the aubergines and courgettes in to thin strips about 5mm thick. Brush with olive oil on both sides. Either place on a hot BBQ, in a griddle pan on a medium high heat or under a hot grill. Watch the slices closely and when they are nicely browned on one side turn them over. When they are soft and slightly charred on both sides remove from the heat and lay out on a serving dish.

Put the veg on the table along with the kale salad. Sprinkle a pinch of paprika on to the houmous and add an extra swirl of olive oil to the top. Serve alongside the salad and vegetables.

*Recipe Notes*

  • I often use 1 packet of pre-cooked quinoa here as it saves time and ensures you have perfectly cooked quinoa. You can of course cook your own according to the packet instructions, following the serving suggestion for 2, please make sure you don’t over cook the quinoa as it will turn porridgey and too soft for salad. Remember it continues cooking long after you’ve removed it from the heat.
  • The roasted garlic in oil will keep for weeks in the fridge and is so delicious in dips, sauces, soups or simply spread on toast for homemade garlic bread.
  • This salad will keep really well in the fridge for a few days and makes the best packed lunch.

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  • Marion Pool
    Posted at 09:03h, 25 July Reply

    This has to be my favourite meal of the retreat, although ALL the meals were absolutely delicious – talk about fine dining!
    I have made my version since I got home, I remembered you said to ‘massage the kale’ and did courgettes and aubergine on a griddle pan – very successful. As you showed us, there’s something about creating a meal as a work of art and making it with a feeling of love and care that gives it that extra something. Nourishing the soul as well as the body. Thanks for everything Jen. Marion

  • JUDY Pilkington- WOOD
    Posted at 12:24h, 25 July Reply

    I haven’t made this salad myself yet, but am really looking forward to doing so. This meal at the retreat was definitely my favourite but all the food was delicious, and I really looked forward to what the next meal Jen produced would be. An excellent cook, thank you for your inspiration. I have tried a couple of your other recipes, the freezer brownies so rich but so good and last night the spicey lentil dal. Tonight, the aubergine and sweet pot stew, I know its hot but who cares Thanks again Judy

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