“Mom, This salad is awesome!” That magical sentence was uttered by my 7 year old, Trey, as he ate the Kale Caesar salad I made with dinner earlier this week. I made the salad following this delicious recipe from the lovely Oh She Glows blog. This Kale Caesar has a nice vinegary dressing with crunchy garbanzo beans croutons. The “parm” topping rounds out the salad with a nice bit of savory saltiness.
I made the salad in a few parts as Trey wanted to go to the park and play baseball after he finished his homework. Before we left I roasted the garbanzo beans in one of my favorite kitchen appliances – my convection toaster oven (similar to this model). I love using this oven for quick, smaller jobs. The oven heats up quickly and doesn’t heat up your whole kitchen in the process.
After I roasted the chickpeas I started chopping the romaine and peeling the stems off the kale. My dogs, Zeus and Lana, are completely obsessed with kale stems. They love to eat the stems like little bones. As soon as I peel the leaf off the stem they come running. In this case they heard me from the backyard (eagle ears) and ran to find the screen door closed. I had to take a picture of their sad “Please give us some kale” faces before they got to have their treat. What faces!!
Once we got back from the park I put together the dressing. I altered the dressing just a bit from Angela’s original recipe. I used almonds instead of cashews because that is what I had on hand. Having made this recipe before I think the cashews definitely work better…they make a creamier dressing than the almonds. However if you only have almonds on hand I wouldn’t hesitate to use them. The other change I made was to add 1 TB of balsamic vinegar to the dressing. I saw an episode of Pioneer Woman (a show I really enjoy despite it not being vegan friendly in any way!) where she made a caesar salad and added balsamic to make the dressing a bit “richer”. I tried it here and I loved the flavor.
I had some walnut/nutritional yeast “parm” that I made previously in the refrigerator. To make my “parm” topping I add 1 cup of walnuts, 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, and 1/4 tsp of salt to my food processor. I pulse the ingredients until they are a fine crumble. I store the topping in the refrigerator in a glass container. I’m sure the topping recipe included in Angela’s recipe is also delicious. The topping brings the whole recipe together so be sure to add it if you can.
Once I tossed everything together I served it with dinner. It was music to my ears to hear Trey declare “This salad is awesome” about a kale caesar salad! Hope you have equally rave reviews if you make this for your family.