Here we are again, less than a month later hitting you with another kale salad. Trust me on this one, you need this in your life. This dinosaur kale caesar salad is hearty, filling, kind of funky, and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or effort. The star, and what makes this salad different from your classic caesar salad… dinosaur kale.
Chances are you have passed this dino looking leafy green in the market, and mistaken it for another fibrous plant. Dinosaur kale or properly called Lacinato Kale is just one of the many varieties of kale. While curly kale is most commonly found at the market, dinosaur kale is deeper in color and more tender, which means it wont be stabbing you in the mouth. So why is is nicknamed dinosaur kale? Look at it… the bumpy texture looks like dinosaur. Due to its texture it has a tendency of trapping dirt in the grooves and bumps, so wash it throughly. While it is more tender I still recommend you removing the stem and massage it. If you are completely confused on why I just told you to take this kale to the spa, read my Crunchy Parmesan Kale recipe.
So, because this salad is incredibly easy and fast to make, like cut lettuce, toast croutons, mix all together kind of easy, it comes with a recipe for dressing. Consider this your easy caesar salad dressing hack. Like the salad it’s made in minutes without that annoying egg step that is found in a traditional caesar dressing. Don’t get me wrong, I love starting with an egg, but it is a lot of work for a salad. I like to call this a steakhouse caesar. It’s chunky from the freshly grated parm, funky from the anchovies and garlic, and if dinosaur kale wasn’t so delicious I would just dunk the croutons in it and call it a day.
Make the Easy Caesar Salad Dressing – Create a paste of garlic and anchovies. Finely mince the garlic and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Chop the anchovies finely and add to the garlic. With the side of the knife scrape the garlic and anchovies against the cutting board. Alternate between scraping the mixture against the cutting board and finely mincing until it becomes a paste consistency. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Combine the garlic anchovy paste with the rest of the ingredients. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using.
Make the Croutons – Cut the bread, shall i recommend sourdough, in large cubes. On a sheet pan toss the bread with a heavy drizzle of olive oil, dried basil, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt. Roast in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Construct the Salad – While croutons are toasting remove the stems from the dinosaur kale, wash, and chop. In a bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice massage kale for 2-3 minutes to soften. We don’t use olive oil to massage the kale because then the dressing won’t stick. Add chopped romaine and toss with dressing. Add desired croutons and parmesan cheese.
Make this a meal by adding grilled chicken or roasted salmon.
Want to prep the dressing in advance? No problem! The dressing can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for up to a week. Keep in mind, the longer it sits the funkier it gets so if you know you are making this 2-3 days ahead of time you might want to reduce the anchovies.
Looking for other salads? I got you, check out the below!