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
- 1 lb kale (about 1 large bunche)
- 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
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ 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 1 lb 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, ½ teaspoon salt and and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Slowly stream in 2 tablespoons olive oil until everything is combined and emulsified. Stir in ¼ 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 ½ 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!
- Soaking the kale for 10 minutes softens the leaves and takes out some of the bitterness. If you don't want to do that step, you can also cut the kale into smaller pieces and then use your hands to "massage" it with a teaspoon of oil. Do this for a few minutes until the kale turns a brighter green color, and then proceed with the recipe!
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.