Everyone loves a good caesar salad. It’s all about the garlic, the parmesan, the crisp romaine lettuce, and crunchy garlicky croutons, right?
Well, try adding some fresh kale leaves to your caesar next time! You don’t have to replace all the romaine with kale. In fact, an equal amount of each is just right in our opinion. You get the green goodness that is kale along with the cool crispness of the romaine, the best of both worlds.
You wouldn’t think to bring an already dressed green salad to a cookout or picnic, but you can with this kale caesar. Romaine hearts hold up fairly well, and kale? It’s as if it’s daring you to let it sit dressed for hours. Kale doesn’t care. It’s so happily sturdy it appreciates the tenderizing influence of a dressing.
Speaking of which, the dressing for this recipe comes from my friend chef Kathi Riley. There’s no egg and no anchovies, but it is still wonderfully creamy.
Kale Caesar Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing Recipe
Note the kale is rather sturdy so you can make this a couple hours in advance.
Pro tip: because ciabatta bread has big holes it makes great croutons! Light and airy.
- 6 cups of 1-inch diced rustic bread (ciabatta or Italian loaf)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar (can sub apple cider vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (use vegetarian Parmesan for vegetarian option)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 cups kale leaves (lightly packed), ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 large head romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut in half again lengthwise, then cut crosswise on a diagonal, to 1-inch wide strips
- 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1 Toast croutons: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread bread cubes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Toss while still warm in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
2 Make vinaigrette: Place the vinaigrette ingredients into a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth.
3 Assemble salad: Place the chopped kale and romaine leaves into a large bowl. Add the dressing and massage with your (clean) hands until the salad is well dressed. (Massaging the kale with your hands helps soften the leaves.) Alternatively, dress the salad and let it sit for an hour or two, allowing time for the dressing to soften the sturdy kale.
Add the croutons and the Parmesan cheese.
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