I love everything about this salad. It’s not a traditional Caesar salad and that’s what I love about it.

I used kale rather than romaine and fried chickpeas instead of croutons. I’ve never been that into croutons but have always been a fan of chickpeas. They’re a wonderful complement to the salad.

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas - A fresh spin on Caesar salad with an easy, whisk-together dressing loaded with bold flavor!! You won't miss croutons when you've got crispy, crunchy fried chickpeas that are insanely good!!

They’re crispy, crunchy, and I added plenty of salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne for a kick.

The dressing isn’t traditional because there’s no Worcestershire, egg yolks, or anchovies. But Food & Wine said it’s still a Caesar salad. Sometimes breaking tradition yields the tastiest results.

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas - A fresh spin on Caesar salad with an easy, whisk-together dressing loaded with bold flavor!! You won't miss croutons when you've got crispy, crunchy fried chickpeas that are insanely good!!

The dressing clings perfectly to the curly kale leaves and has a delectable savory bite. It will keep airtight in the fridge for up to one week. I love having homemade dressings stashed in the fridge because it makes for easy lunches and fast clean-eating dinners. My daughter loved this salad and said she gives it an 11 out of 10 and asked for one in her lunch the next day. And then a few days later asked me to remake it. High praise from a 9 year old who’s going to town on kale and beans.

There’s Parmesan in the dressing as well as on top of the salad. The more the merrier when it comes to cheese. I love Parmesan and use Parm that’s been aged 24+ months. It’s a little pricier but worth it for the extra sharpness and depth of flavor.

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas - A fresh spin on Caesar salad with an easy, whisk-together dressing loaded with bold flavor!! You won't miss croutons when you've got crispy, crunchy fried chickpeas that are insanely good!!

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas
Yield: serves 4 to 8

Kale Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

This isn’t a traditional Caesar salad and that’s what I love about it. I used kale rather than romaine and fried chickpeas instead of croutons. They’re crispy, crunchy, and I added plenty of salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne for a kick. The dressing isn’t traditional because there’s no Worcestershire, egg yolks, or anchovies but clings perfectly to the curly kale leaves and has a delectable savory bite. It will keep airtight in the fridge for up to one week. There’s Parmesan in the dressing as well as on top of the salad and I prefer Parm that’s been aged 24+ months for the depth of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • one 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or pressed with a garlic press
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional and to taste
  • curly kale as necessary based on servings needed, chopped into bite-sized pieces with thick ribs and coarse stems removed

Instructions

  1. To a large skillet, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chickpeas and fry, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to paper towels to drain. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste, optional cayenne, and toss to coat evenly; set aside.
  2. To a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and whisk to combine. Taste dressing and check for seasoning balance, making any necessary tweaks to suit personal preference (i.e more lemon juice, mustard, salt, or pepper). I add sugar to balance the savory quality and the acid. Transfer dressing to an airtight container or jar with a lid. Dressing will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  3. To a large bowl, add the kale, drizzle with dressing as desired, and toss to coat. I prefer to massage the kale with my hands so it’s well coated.
  4. Transfer kale to a plate, evenly top with grated Parmesan, chickpeas, and serve immediately. Salad is best fresh.

Adapted from Food & Wine

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 1163mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g

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