Kale Caesar is all the rage and has been for a while. If you love Kale as much as I do, it’s difficult not to imagine it coated in a creamy Caesar dressing. You know the leaves are going to hold up beautifully and the salty, creamy dressing is going to balance out the sometimes bitter and earthy flavor of the raw leaves. The only thing holding me back was the sheer richness that is usually Caesar dressing and fear of just how many Weight Watchers Points Plus each serving would be.
I’ve been thinking about it for way too long and my Food Blogger friends were not helping. First, Kalyn from Kalyns Kitchen posted a hybrid Kale and Romaine Caesar and an inspired Chopped Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing from John at Kitchen Riffs.
Finally, when Erina from Shut Up & Cook posted a Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing, I knew all hell had broken loose. A prior self-proclaimed, “Kale Hater”, I knew that if a Kale Caesar is what turned her out and made HER a Kale lover, well, then I better get on it.
I decided on Dr. Weil’s version for no other reason than I just wanted to keep trying the recipes from his book.
It is delicious and sort of a Kale Caesar (hence the name of this post) but at the same time a hearty, garlicky raw kale salad with just the right amount of crunch and dressing.
Bottom line is that if you even remotely like Kale but love garlicky dressings or Caesar, you will love this and you don’t have to feel as bad about the Points Plus since you know you are essentially eating raw kale. 😉
Adapted From: Dr. Weil’s Kale Salad
- Click here and scroll to the NOTES section to learn how to quickly stem Kale.
- If you add the shaved Parmesan on for serving, make sure to account for the Points Plus values. I did not include them in the total. For reference, a 1/2 ounce of shaved Parmesan is 1 Points Plus.
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- 2 large bunches of Lacinato Kale Dinosaur Kale, cleaned, stems removed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 to 3 large cloves garlic smashed and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup organic lemon juice from approximately 2 medium lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup whole wheat croutons crushed (OR Gluten Free croutons)
- shaved Parmesan for serving optional
Clean kale be removing the stems, washing the leaves and drying. If you have a salad spinner, this is a great time to use it to dry the leaves. Alternately, pat them with paper towels. Once mostly dry, chop leaves into bite sized pieces and place in a very large bowl.
Smash garlic and finely chop. Combine in a large bowl with lemon juice, salt, red pepper and black pepper.Whisk to combine and continue whisking, slowly pouring in olive oil to emulsify.
Combine dressing with kale leaves, using your hands to gently massage into the leaves. (I used kitchen gloves because I had just painted my nails and Kale has a nasty habit of turning manicures green! Set a timer for 30 minutes and move on to the croutons.
Smash the croutons by placing them in a measuring cup and using the next size smaller measuring cup to crush them by pushing down. Alternately, you could put them in a Ziplock type bag and bang on them but I found that is messier.
Finally, measure grated cheese and shave fresh Parmesan if using for garnish.
When timer is up, toss dressed salad with crushed croutons and grated Parm until well coated.
Leftovers (like there will be any) can be kept refrigerated for and eaten within two days but know that the croutons will get soft. Serve with shaved Parmesan and Enjoy!