A classic-ish kale caesar salad. Takes just minutes to prepare and easy to make ahead for a weeknight side dish or to prep for a dinner party! Serve as-is, or add chicken, shrimp, steak or even crispy chickpeas on top for a full meal.Print
A classic-ish kale caesar salad. Takes just minutes to prepare and easy to make ahead for a weeknight side dish or to prep for a dinner party! Serve as-is, or add chicken, shrimp, steak or even crispy chickpeas on top for a full meal.
- 2 slices sourdough bread, torn into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 12 oz kale (2 large bunches)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (see notes below for vegetarian substitute)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, divided
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Toss bread with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Arrange on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- While croutons bake, prepare 12 ounces of kale by removing stems and cutting into 1-2 inch pieces. Put chopped kale into a large bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Drain kale and dry very, very well (highly suggest using a salad spinner here!).
- In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons mustard, 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, 2 cloves of grated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Slowly stream in 2 tablespoons olive oil until everything is combined and emulsified. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Add kale to dressing and toss well using tongs or your hands. You want every leaf coated! Let salad sit for 10-15 minutes.
- To serve, add croutons and remaining parmesan and toss everything together.
- If anchovies aren’t your thing, or you need a vegetarian substitute I’ve got a couple of options for you: Use 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or 1 teaspoon white miso paste. Either will give you that perfect salty flavor. And if you really don’t want to do that, just add a little more parmesan!
For me, 2019 was the year of caesar salads. I just didn’t realize how much I loved them until now!!!
It’s something about that creamy, tangy dressing. It makes everything better. And while I’ve shared fun takes on a caesar (like this blackened shrimp version and the grilled romaine from Instagram), this year I’ve really come to love a good classic version.
Except! Turns out I REALLY love a kale caesar salad. That hearty green just really stands up well with the dressing, and topped with a few croutons and a little extra parmesan? Yes please.
While I do consider this a classic recipe, I’m aware it’s not really that as it doesn’t have egg yolk in the dressing. I prefer to use mayo because it’s easier, but in my defense I use homemade mayo and that has egg!! It kinda counts, right?
But also. Store-bought is fine. Thanks, Ina.
There are two things about this salad that make it the best:
- Croutons croutons croutons! I highly suggest making your own here because, honestly, you’re worth it. Tear up some bread, toss with olive oil and throw in the oven. Easy easy and so yum!
- This salad actually tastes better after it’s sat for a while. WHAT?! Yes. Make this ahead and let the kale wilt just a tiny bit into that dressing. So good, and really perfect for entertaining.
Obviously, you can jazz this guy up and top with chicken or shrimp (salmon is also a fave). Or roast up some cauliflower and throw that on top. If you don’t think a salad is a meal, I urge you to reconsider.
It’s hearty. It’s delicious. It’s probably dinner tonight.