A vegetarian (egg and fish free) caesar dressing is tossed with Tuscan kale and roasted chickpea ‘croutons’ for an exceptionally good kale caesar salad. Perfect for make-ahead meals.
Over the weekend, I had some very grownup moments.
My income tax statement arrived, and unlike my many years of being a student and getting happy refunds, this year I owe money. Ugh. But, I reminded myself that owing money means that I’ve got a decent income and have had extra opportunities on the side which I am grateful for.
Then I realized that this little old blog has been getting so many page views lately that I’m going to have to bump up to professional hosting, which is also professional expensive. But, that means so, so many of you are visiting here each day, which is all kinds of awesome!
And, my poor, long-suffering bank account is just taking hit after hit after hit. But that’s because I was in New York a few weeks ago, will be in Paris next weekend, Sicily some time in June, and a visit back to BC this summer. Life is grand!
You know what else is mature? This here salad.
Every time I make this recipe I walk around the apartment shouting KAAAAAAAALE CAESAR!!! and I think I’m hilarious, but my husband (and probably my neighbours) not so much. What was I just saying about being so mature?
But seriously, this is good stuff. The salad base is ribbons of Tuscan kale, which get a nice little massage with an egg-free fish-free Caesar dressing. Instead of croutons, we’re roasting up some chickpeas for a boost of crunchy protein-y fiberrific goodness.
The thing that takes the most time here is making the dressing, and only because it calls for a bulb of roasted garlic. But if you roast the garlic ahead of time, and roasted garlic is never a bad thing to have on hand, it’s a matter of mere minutes. This also makes far more dressing than you’ll need for this salad, which is a good thing because a) the dressing is delicious, b) it’ll last a while in your fridge, and c) I’ve got another recipe coming up later this week that uses the rest of the dressing.
The roasted chickpeas also take a bit of time (20 mins or so in your oven) but you can use that time to prep the kale, let it soften under the dressing, and decompress from your day. I also heartily encourage you to make a double batch of the chickpeas because they’re fantabulous for snacking.
This salad will last for several days in the fridge, so it’s perfect for packed lunches or make-ahead meals. The chickpeas lose their crispness in the fridge, so if you’re making this in advance store them separately in an airtight container, and garnish the salad when you’re ready to eat.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse! It is extraordinarily rich in micronutrients, dietary fiber, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and cancer fighting glucosinolates. Kale is a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and contains nearly twice the vitamin K (essential for blood clotting and also an important anti-inflammatory agent) than any other cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cabbage, etc). Iron, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and phosphorous are among the complement of vital minerals found in kale. The dietary fiber in kale is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels. One recent study showed that this benefit may be improved by lightly steaming kale for about 5 minutes before consuming.
- 1 bulb garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 1 Tbsp caper brine
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups chickpeas, rinsed and dried
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Start by roasting the garlic (this can be done a day or more in advance).
- Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F. With a sharp knife, slice the top off of the garlic bulb to expose the cloves. Place the bulb on a square of tinfoil, and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Wrap the foil around the bulb, and place in the oven.
- Roast the garlic for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the oven, and let cool completely.
- CAESAR DRESSING
- Squeeze the cooled roasted from the garlic bulb into the jar of a blender.
- Add lemon juice, capers, caper brine, Dijon mustard, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, Parmesan, and olive oil. Run the blender until you've got a smooth, creamy dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- ROASTED CHICKPEAS
- Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas, and then pat them dry using paper towels. The drier they are the crispier they will become when roasted.
- Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet, and place in the oven.
- Roast, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until chickpeas are golden and crunchy. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- KALE CAESAR SALAD
- Remove the kale leaves from the stems, and place in a stack on your cutting board.
- Using a sharp knife, slice into thin ribbons.
- Place the kale ribbons into a large bowl, and add a few tablespoons of dressing (do not add all the dressing at once - this is far more dressing than you need for this recipe).
- Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale. Add extra dressing as needed.
- To serve, garnish with extra grated Parmesan, and crispy chickpeas.
Dressing adapted from the Rebar cookbook. The rest of the recipe is a Muffin Myth original.