Easy No-Massage Kale Caesar Salad

by Andie Mitchell on August 6, 2014

kale caesar salad

 

I wasn’t going to join the cult of kale; I wasn’t. But then again, of course.

 

kale caesar salad

 

It was the same thing with chambray shirts. I wasn’t I wasn’t I wasn’t. Until I was.

In reality, though, I’ve liked kale in all of its ways for a few years now — as chips, massaged, as a garnish on deli platters — but I haven’t gone wild over it in the same way that I did with, say, brussels sprouts.

Most of the recipes for kale anything are fussy, and on a very basic level — simply a way to make a superfood that tastes pretty blah on its own, digestible.

 

kale caesar salad

 

This kale, though? You don’t need to massage it. Or roast it. Or tell it it’s beautiful and worthwhile until that becomes true.

But I didn’t create this recipe entirely by myself; Steve did. So, to give him some credit, let’s talk about him.

To find the roots of this recipe we’d have to go back to the summer of 2011, when we met. We were having our very first phone conversation — he, a literary agent, and I, not a literary agent but still very much loved by my mother. It was morning; I was wearing pajamas, living in Seattle. There was this book idea.

Our talking was easy, completely sensical. We laughed, talked about growing up chubby, our mutual food likes, our dislikes. And that was that. There was no one else I needed to consider.

 

kale caesar salad

 

Since then, he’s become one of my close friends. He’s met my clan and I’ve met his. We text often and brunch when we can find places with the right kind of bloody marys — that is to say, spicy but not too heavy on the horseradish. We play Dominos together, if that clues you in to how spirited we are. I feel comfortable enough with Steve to make fun of him in front of his significant other.

Steve’s been telling me about this kale salad for a while now. “It’s so easy, Andie. I make it all the time,” he’d say. And finally, at a recent cookout, he brought it to the table.

 

cookout

 

It was simple and perfect. Not in the slightest what I would expect from such a short, sweet ingredient list. It was clean and bright and yet still satisfying. Knowing how healthy it was seemed only a perk.

To make it yourself, all you’ll need is a big bowl of roughly chopped or torn kale, and this quick lemony Caesar-like dressing. The key to maximizing the flavor of the vinaigrette – what gives it that umami note — is a small squeeze of anchovy paste. If you’re seafood averse, don’t worry; it doesn’t come through as a fishy flavor, just rich and slightly salty.

 

kale caesar salad

 

Pour it over the kale, toss well, and let it sit as long as you can so that the acidity breaks down those tough green leaves. The flavors will intensify and the kale will wilt the longer it’s able to stand — at least 30 minutes, but a stay overnight in the fridge works wonders.

Steve adds a generous helping of Parmesan cheese — enough to really coat the leaves, because none of us wants to have that horrible spaghetti-eating experience where you run out of Parmesan after the top layer of bites.

Enjoy it as a side for just about anything.

 

kale caesar salad

 

Easy No-Massage Kale Caesar Salad

Yield: 5 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups

Calories per serving: 170

Fat per serving: 13.8g

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon, or ~3 tablespoons
  • 6 cups chopped or torn kale leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. To a small bowl, add the garlic and anchovy paste. Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Add the olive oil in a steady stream, while whisking constantly, to incorporate.
  2. To a large mixing bowl, add the kale. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to coat the leaves. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss again. Let the salad stand for at least 30 minutes to allow the kale to soften, or better yet — up to 24 hours (covered in the fridge), before serving.

Notes

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/5th of Entire Recipe, or about 1 1/4 cup): Calories: 170, Total Fat: 13.8g, Total Carb: 9.8g, Fiber: 3.2g, Sugars: 2.2g, Protein: 5.7g

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2014/08/06/easy-no-massage-kale-caesar-salad/

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Morgan August 6, 2014 at 10:55 am

I’m that girl. That girl that eats the top parmesany layer of spaghetti, re-tops the 2nd layer with parmesan, then eats that parmesany layer, then repeat. Assuming I have a GIANT plate of 3-layer spaghetti, which I usually do. Because what are serving sizes?

Anchovy paste makes me nervous but I trust you. I love kale and caesar salads, so I will be trying this asap!

Reply

Andie Mitchell August 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Your spaghetti-eating style is perfect.

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Gwen@Gwensfishfood August 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm

I too am a late-comer to the kale game. I tried it before but never really saw what all the fuss was about (but have similar feelings as you about brussel sprouts! twins!). So it’s funny and crazy that I recently also posted about my own very simple kale salad! It seems like kale and lemon must be a match made in heaven, because my salad also is lemon-heavy. But I take it a different route by adding red pepper flakes, which makes for a light but spicy salad. =) I’ll be trying your variation next!

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Andie Mitchell August 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Gwen — your Tuscan Kale Salad looks fabulous! So does your newest recipe: the cucumber caprese. Can’t wait to try them!!

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Cinnamon Vogue August 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm

This is great. The thing I like about is there is no sugary salad dressing. Very simple. Anchovy paste. Now that is something I have not tried. Thanks Steve and Andie. Great job.

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Andie Mitchell August 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Thanks Cinnamon Vogue!

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Noel August 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I too scratched my head over Kale. What am I gonna do with this stuff? Had a couple glasses of wine while I was contemplating this issue and this is what I came up with. . Got my steamer basket out, had some extra pineapple juice. Poured that in the bottom then put a layer of kale sprinkled with coriander then more layers and more coriander. It was really good. You could use any kind of juice that you have on had. Steamed Kale at its best!

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Andie Mitchell August 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

That is such a creative recipe; I love it. Never would have thought to steam it with pineapple juice. Thanks for the tip, Noel!

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Betsy August 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm

This looks pretty freakin great. I love kale, even if it makes me look like a hipster douchebag.

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Andie Mitchell August 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm
Shelly August 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

“No-massage” kale salad, I love it! Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to give your kale a full on massage. ;) Will have to try this super easy prep, I’m glad you’re back with recipes, can’t wait to try it!

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Andie Mitchell August 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Thanks Shell!

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Diana August 8, 2014 at 9:16 am

Andie, I feel I an say this because I have been with you on your journey here for a long long time.
I ordered your book the minute I saw it was out.

I just want to say that with the tilapia sandwich and now this salad, that

You Are Back.
I felt like you had sort of left us there for awhile. But now your voice is back. I’m glad because I missed you.
Welcome home.

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chris August 9, 2014 at 6:44 am

Amazing

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Sharon D. August 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Andie, this will her the 2nd of your recipes that I’ve tried this week…and I can’t say enough words about the deliciousness of the Cajun Tilapia Sandwich with Bacon & Lime Mayo! My hubby and I both loved this! I can’t wait to try the Kale Caesar salad now. I love Kale in my morning Green Smoothies, but this sounds like another great way to get in this healthy green!! Thanks for all you do!! :)

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Angeli Yuson August 11, 2014 at 2:10 am

Excellent recipe, looks delicious!

I haven’t yet joined the “kale bandwagon” but it wont be long until i do!

Thanks for sharing

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Lauren August 11, 2014 at 11:58 am

Made this for dinner on Thursday – yummy!!

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Nichole August 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm

I feel like I am one of the last people to get on board with kale…I like it, I don’t lust it and need it my life. I do, however adore simple dressing with fresh lemon. Hmm, I need to try this. Thanks Andie (and Steve)! In other news, I love a well made bloody mary ;)

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Samara Barnard August 13, 2014 at 4:12 am

What a visual treat and a healthy delight… I so want to have it right now :) I am simply in love with salads and this is the reason behind my fitness. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I am going to this for sure.

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Jilly August 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Made this last night and let it sit in the fridge until I could wait no longer…I paired it with a marinated chickie breast with the salad over the top…OH MY I AM IN LOVE!!! So simple and perfectly delicious! Thank you for sharing!

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T August 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I’m afraid to commit to the anchovy paste. What else would I use it for? Is there a substitution or should I just quit whining and get it already?

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Hannah August 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Oh MY.

This looks AMAZING, Andie.
I’m putting on my list of “bring to school” lunches. And with the sitting time it needs, making this salad the night before won’t turn it into a soggy mess at lunch the next day! :D

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Debra August 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm

That’s an awesome kale recipe! I can already see my dinner with that salad, and maybe some cherry tomatoes thrown in and a lean piece of steak on the side! YUM!

Definitely bookmarking this page! Thanks for sharing :)

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2014 at 7:27 am

I’ve been looking for ways to make kale more inviting to me. I love Caesar salad and I really love that this does not have a lot of sugar or carbs in it. Perfect!!! At whole foods I often see something similar to this but I’m always afraid of what might be in it that I don’t know about. So this will give me the chance to make it myself knowing exactly what the ingredients are! Thanks!

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Sophie August 21, 2014 at 12:19 am

been looking for nice kale recipe…and i found it! thanks heaps! its so simple and taste so delicious!

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Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life August 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm

There is no greater tragedy than the un-cheesed pasta, or in this case, salad. No one needs that kind of trauma in their life. I do however, need to pick up some kale this weekend so that I can get my no massage salad on. Please excuse me if I substitute some olives for the anchovies, I just can’t eat the creatures of the sea.
Thanks Andie :)

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kira August 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Made this for dinner last night and it is AMAZING. Thank you Andie!

It was good even 30 min after marinating before dinner but even better today as lunch!

Don’t hesitate to buy the anchovy paste. It was less than $3 and I’m pretty sure I will be making this weekly now.

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Alanna September 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

I made this tonight but it has a horrible fish aftertaste, looked at the packet and my anchovies paste main ingredient is salmon!

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