Kale Caesar Salad | foodsciencenerd.com

You Pick Two… also not from a bag (aka Kale Caesar Salad)

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This dinner was inspired by multiple things.  I was scrolling through twitter and saw a beautiful picture posted by America’s Test Kitchen for Kale Caesar Salad.  I happened to be right around the corner from a farmers’ market that I knew would have local kale, cheap.  Also, I have enough broccoli cheddar soup and whole wheat baguettes for a million people, and my favorite meal from Panera is a you-pick-two with broccoli cheddar soup, Caesar salad, and a baguette, so why not make it for myself?  I made some changes to the ATK recipe to make it faster and a touch healthier (but you are eating 4 cups of raw kale, which is high in, well, everything, so that justifies eating just about anything else.)

IMG_0055
It’s pretty, right??

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat baguette
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan/Romano cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Curly kale
  • Yogurt-based Caesar dressing (I like this one)
  • Tomato, optional, but heirloom tomatoes are currently $2/lb at my farmers’ market, so I bought a ton

Directions:

  • Cube about half a baguette (depending on how many croutons you’d like), toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a touch of parmesan.  Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes until crisp and browned.IMG_0054
  • Stem and tear up the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and cover with warm water.  Massage the leaves to soften them and remove dirt, then let sit in the warm water for about 10 minutes.IMG_0053
  • Drain the leaves and dry using a salad spinner and/or paper towels.  Place in a large bowl and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the leaves.  Also sprinkle on some salt.  I like Maldon sea salt flakes– the texture and taste is unmatched, especially in raw applications like this one.  Also, it’s QE2 approved!  Massage (yes, literally) the oil and salt into the leaves to soften them.
  • Add about a tablespoon of dressing per cup of leaves and toss.  Squeeze on some extra lemon juice if you’d like the kale even softer.  Massage again (I used tongs since I don’t like having messy hands).  Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the acid work on the leaves (kale needs a lot of encouragement to be eaten raw).IMG_0055
  • Toss the leaves with parmesan, tomatoes, and croutons, and serve proudly alongside broccoli cheddar soup and a piece of baguetteKale Caesar Salad | foodsciencenerd.com

Best part about this kind of You Pick Two (other than the price and health benefits and the even-better leftovers?)- you can enjoy it alongside a freshly released Sam Adams Oktoberfest.

Kale Caesar Salad | foodsciencenerd.comNow that’s kale that even Jim Gaffigan would love.

Eh... maybe not.
Eh… maybe not.

P.S.  This salad is so amazing that I’m going to make it every time my boyfriend is out of town… his complaints about kale make Jim Gaffigan’s complaints pale (pun intended) in comparison.

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 slices whole wheat baguette, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 1/4 cup yogurt-based Caesar dressing
  • 1/2 large tomato, diced, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Toss bread cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a touch of parmesan. Bake for about 15 minutes until crisp and browned.
  3. Stem and tear up the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and cover with warm water. Massage the leaves to soften them and remove dirt, then let sit in the warm water for about 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the leaves and dry using a salad spinner and/or paper towels. Place in a large bowl and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the leaves. Also sprinkle on some salt. Massage the oil and salt into the leaves to soften them.
  5. Add about a tablespoon of dressing per cup of leaves and toss. Squeeze on some extra lemon juice if you'd like the kale even softer. Massage again.
  6. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the acid work on the leaves.
  7. Toss the leaves with parmesan, tomatoes, and croutons, and serve alongside broccoli cheddar soup and a piece of baguette
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