Kale Caesar Salad

by Natalie on May 4, 2011


I love kale but sometimes get bored with it because many recipes using it seem to be somewhat similar.

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it because it uses kale in a unique way. The end result was fantastic. I definitely will be making this recipe again.

I enjoy cooking with kale because it is a very hearty green. I like the texture it adds to certain dishes.

Kale is a very healthy food to include in your diet. It is higher in vitamins, minerals and protein than most greens.

A photo of raw curly kale

1 cup raw kale = 34 calories, 2.2g protein, 1.5 g fiber, 0.5 g fat, 90.5 mg calcium, 299 mg potassium.

That’s almost equal to the amount of potassium in a small banana. To put the calcium in perspective, 3 cups of raw kale has the same amount of calcium as an 8oz glass of milk.

Even better, kale is also a cancer fighting food! It is a source of indole-3 carbinol and isothiocyanate, 2 compounds found in food that fight cancer cells.

Sometimes so called “health foods” are expensive. Kale is an exception. I bought two huge bunches of organic kale yesterday to make this recipe and it was only $1.99!

Kale Caesar Salad, slightly adapted from a Food Network recipe

serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish

  • ⅓ C olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 ½ C bread cubes (I used 2 slices of whole wheat, sourdough bread cut into cubes)
  • 2 large bunches of kale, washed, large stems removed, cut into small pieces


1) Turn on broiler. Put oven rack in middle/high position.

2) Wash and cut up the kale. Make sure to dry kale as much as possible.

3) Make the dressing by combining olive oil, garlic, anchovies, and lemon juice in a blender or small food processor and puree. Set aside.

4) In a bowl, toss 1 T of the dressing with the bread cubes. Spread on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.

5) Now toss kale and remaining dressing in a bowl. Spread on baking sheet (kale will shrink dramatically in the oven). Put into oven and broil for 3-4 minutes until kale is softened but not mushy. Some parts of the kale will also be a bit crisp, that’s a good thing. Be careful not to over cook the kale. Doing so will turn it into a big wet mass of greens. Stir kale half-way through cooking.

6) Combine cooked kale and croutons. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over salad. Enjoy.

Additional Notes

If you are having this as a main course, I recommend adding some protein. I topped the salad with some roasted chicken breast. The chicken was humanely raised, antibiotic and hormone free. A hard boiled egg would be good here too.

For a vegetarian protein topping, consider ½ C cannellini beans and 1 T sunflower seeds. That would add an additional 10g of protein to your bowl of salad.

I am curious to try this recipe with different dressings and toppings. I bet there are many other ways to enjoy a kale salad like this!

Looking for more ways to cook kale? For more recipes, check out Diana Dyer’s blog 365 Days of Kale.




Photo of curly kale by: dnfisher








Marilyn May 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Can’t wait to try this salad. I am always looking for new ways to fix this leafy green. It packs a punch. The fish tacos were a hit. Everyone loved them.

Dana @ Budget Dietitian May 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Yum! Another kale recipe that I have been waiting to try out is making kale chips. Have you ever tried those?

Natalie May 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

Kale chips are great! A really fun way to enjoy kale. I think your kids will enjoy them too. Just keep an close eye on them when you are cooking them, they can burn really fast.

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