Kale Caesar Crunch Salad.
Hello, my favorite kale caesar salad!
You gorgeous thing, you. I could eat you every single day!
My kale caesar is not groundbreaking, but it is something I’ve been making for years. As in, maybe almost a decade? Possibly more?
I have my caesar dressing in many places here on the blog, and also have some versions of my kale salad (this pizza, this shrimp salad), but not a clear kale caesar post that I can point you to! Which I have needed so many times. Finally, we have a dedicated post to my kale caesar salad!
Because next to the howsweeteats house salad, this is the most made salad in our house. Easily once or twice a week! It’s Eddie’s favorite salad.
Also, there’s a different version (kale + same dressing + something else!) coming in my new book, Everyday Dinners! It’s another variety that we love so much, especially this time of year, and I can’t wait for you to see.
If you haven’t preordered a copy of the new book yet, you can do so here! It would mean the world to me, as preorders really play a huge role to booksellers, especially indie stories! The best part is that you can order a signed copy from my favorite local independent store right here.
Now back to the caesar. I love all kinds of caesar salads, but kale is our go-to. It’s so chewy (in a good way) and satisfying. It’s hearty enough that if you happen to have leftovers, they actually last a day in the fridge. And my favorite part: it’s a salad you can mostly prep ahead of time. Like, you dress it ahead of time and it only gets BETTER. It doesn’t get soggy or wilty.
It’s more filling that a traditional caesar too.
My caesar dressing uses a base of plain greek yogurt which we adore. It also uses anchovy paste, and I have to say that’s the part that makes it extra special. I’ve said it for years but try not to leave that part out! It definitely adds to the traditional caesar flavor and doesn’t taste fishy whatsoever. I promise.
Now the buttery breadcrumbs? Oh my.
Here’s why I like the breadcrumbs over croutons:
With the toasty, buttery breadcrumbs, you can get a bit of crunch with EVERY bite. As a huuuuge texture person, this is so important to me. I love getting crunch with every bite – which also adds flavor, of course.
Yes, of course I love a good homemade sourdough crouton at times. But the crunchy bread crumbs sprinkled all over and spread throughout is key.
I also like to toss the salad thoroughly with freshly grated parmesan. So parmesan cheese also gets into each lettuce crevice and bite. Salty, nutty wonderful flavor. It’s so darn good.
So here we are and I hope you love it!
I know this is a little boring for a Monday inspiration recipe, but it’s a back-to-basics recipe, a staple in the kitchen and something that can be used as a starter course or for dinner itself. It’s versatile, tastes fantastic and is a key recipe to throw in your arsenal.
Kale Caesar Salad
Kale Caesar Crunch Salad
- 1 to 2 bunches of curly green or tuscan kale, stems removed and torn into pieces (about 6 to 8 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan, for topping
- Wash the kale and tear it from the stems. You can leave it in bigger, leafier pieces or run your knife through it a few times to shred it up! Place the kale in a large bowl.
- To make the dressing, add the garlic, yogurt, parmesan, mustard, vinegar, anchovy paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until pureed. With the processor still on, stream in the olive oil until a creamy dressing forms. (This will probably make more dressing than needed, but you can store it sealed in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days and stir well before using.)
- Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing (or even 1/3 to 1/2 cup if you use it on 2 bunches of kale) on the kale to start and toss well to distribute, even massaging it with clean hands. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- To make the breadcrumbs, heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to coat them in the butter. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are golden in color and crunchy. Turn off the heat.
- Drizzle the kale with more dressing, sprinkle with parmesan. Top with the crunchy breadcrumbs. Serve immediately!
Throw it on the menu!