This Lemon Kale Caesar Salad is has a creamy, lemony Parmesan dressing coating crunchy Romaine and everyone’s favorite superfood, kale! Top with some grilled chicken and you’ve got a light and fresh good-for-you summer meal.
Caesar salads have always been a favorite of mine. Until recently I’ve only enjoyed this classic salad in restaurants but since it’s a favorite and food is my thing I figured it was time to learn how to make it at home.
Homemade salad dressings really are so much better than bottled, store bought dressings and in most cases, this one included, they are incredibly easy to make.
Caesar dressing is one of those dressings that people love but choose to be blissfully ignorant about what’s actually in it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to shield your eyes from this next sentence.
A true, classic Caesar includes raw eggs and anchovies. In case you were wondering, up until now I’ve chosen to be in the blissfully ignorant category. But since I wanted to make it at home I knew I needed to put on my big girls pants and research and test it on my own.
My version does include anchovy paste rather than actual chopped up anchovies, because ew. It doesn’t include raw eggs, but I did use mayo so that kind of covers that. There is also sour cream, Parmesan cheese and lots of lemon and lemon zest. Now if you’re not into lemon as much as I am, you can totally cut down on that ingredient or just leave out the lemon zest. Like the title says this is a LEMON Kale Caesar Salad. But feel free to make it your own.
Kale can be pretty tough to chew, which is why I usually enjoy it in soups like my Turkey, Kale and Rice Soup. I recently learned a little trick though from A Mind Full Mom that makes a huge difference – massage that kale! In one of her recipes she suggests massaging a vinegar and oil dressing into the kale leaves and allowing them to sit for a while. I decided that I didn’t really want to stick my hands in the creamy Caesar dressing so I just squeezed half of a lemon over the leaves and massaged them like that. Then I added the rest of the ingredients including the dressing about a half an hour before I wanted to eat the salad. It totally worked! This was the most delicious Caesar salad and it was so fresh and tangy.
I know that we will be enjoying this salad a lot in the near future! Lemon Kale Caesar Salad for the win!
Lemon Kale Caesar Salad
Yield 4 -6 large servings
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (more or less to taste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 Romaine hearts, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces (3-4 cups)
- 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
- Fresh black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Sliced chicken breast, if desired (easy cooking method here)
- In a small bowl, whisk Caesar Dressing ingredients together until smooth. Store dressing in a sealed container until ready to toss with your salad or for a few days in the fridge.
- To make the salad, toss kale with 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Massage the lemon juice into the kale leaves. If possible, let sit for at least an hour (Optional - depending on the amount of time you have. This process will just help to soften the raw kale, making it easier to chew).
- When ready to make the salad, toss the Romaine lettuce and kale together. Drizzle on some of the Caesar dressing and some freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Add more dressing until you are satisfied with the amount. *Note - only use as much dressing and salad as you plan to eat immediately. Reserve any remaining lettuce and kale separately from the dressing in a zip top bag with a paper towel. For more on how to store lettuce, go HERE.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with croutons, with lemon wedges on the side. Top with a pinch of black pepper, if desired.
- *Optional - top with grilled chicken, steak or shrimp to make your salad a meal!
For more delicious salads, try these: