Kale Caesar Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

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.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

Croutons:

  • 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

Vinaigrette:

  • 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

Salad:

  • 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

Method

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.