creamy kale + romaine caesar

kale caesar

This salad is a household staple. We make it often, bring it to dinner parties, potlucks, picnics, and pack it for lunches. It’s always a hit no matter the audience, which can be a tall order when bringing something vegan + (bonus) gf. Full of deep greens, but creamy from the tahini dressing and and satisfyingly crunchy from the roasted chickpeas. It also packs in quite a bit of protein, healthy fats, and staying power. The kids and Joel paired this with simple bruschetta (split baguette down the middle, broil, rub with garlic clove, drizzle with a little olive oil and flaky salt). It’s also perfect as a side with pizza- just saying.

The vegan parm is essential here, do not skip it. It only takes a minute or two to make and will make extra to keep in the fridge- it lasts forever and goes great on just about anything savory.

kale + romaine caesar with crispy chickpeas

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry to maximize crispiness
1 tbsp oil, any kind you like, I used olive
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup tahini
3 tbsp capers, chopped
zest + juice of 1-2 lemons (add one first + then taste- you may need to add more depending on size of your lemons)
1/4 cup water
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt + freshly cracked black pepper
a large bunch tuscan kale (the flat, bumpy, dark green type)
a medium to large head romaine lettuce
crumbly parm

Preheat the oven to 400f / 200c.  On a large baking sheet, toss the chickpeas with the garlic powder, oil, and salt.  When oven has preheated, put in the chickpeas and set the timer for 25 minutes.

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Taste and adjust as needed with more water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, or garlic.  I ended up adding the juice of 2 lemons, I like it pretty acidic.

Chop the kale into thin strips or ribbons (I leave the stems in for extra crunch) and add to the bowl, tossing with the dressing.  Roughly chop or tear the romaine and add that in too, tossing again to coat.

At this point, make the parm if you haven’t already.

Take the chickpeas out of the oven and add them on top of the salad.  Sprinkle liberally with the parm and serve!