First let's address the elephant(s) in the room. Dairy-free caesar dressing?! with kale?! what the hell is this monstrosity, right? I know, I know... unless you're already a kale girl who loves drinking green juices and testing raw vegan treats (that would be me ????), this all sounds a bit too healthy and not really exciting to you. Am I right?
The thing is, I'm bi-faced and I also love fries, chips and burgers aka the not-too-good-for-you food (#balance!!). And I find "real" caesar salad to be extremely tasty. So when I tell you that this kale caesar salad is actually, for real, very, very delicious, I think you can trust me.
Of course, it's not your traditional chicken caesar recipe. No chicken to be seen here, no bread either. But these chickpeas croutons? I swear there're a thing. You can turn chickpeas into delicious, crispy little things that work wonderfully as croutons. Who would have thought!
And can we talk about the dressing? 'cause let's be honest, that's the best thing about a caesar salad. And about this salad as well. I've been cooking and baking more and more with cashews lately and I'm amazed by these little nuts. You wouldn't believe the things you can make and recreate with them. I know I'm late to the game, vegans and dairy intolerants people have been using them for ages to make dairy free concoctions but me...well, I'm pretty much always late to food trends. Anyhow! They are the base for this amazing creamy dressing and the whole thing is so delicious! I hope you'll try it soon. Enjoy! 🙂
Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas & Avocado
- 1 15oz/425g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 bunches of green kale de-stemmed and torn into small pieces
- 1 lemon
- 1 avocado
- Sea salt to taste
- ½ cup cashews soaked for at least 3 hours
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons caper juice from a capers' jar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce use a vegan one to keep this recipe vegan
- 1 teaspoon white miso paste
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Pat chickpeas until dry and add to a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crispy and browned.
In a large mixing bowl, add torn kale and squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon. Sprinkle with sea salt, then massage with your hands making sure all kale is coated. Set aside.
To make dressing: Drain and rinse cashews and add to blender with remaining ingredients and half of the water. Blend until super smooth and creamy, adding remaining water if needed to reach desired consistency.
Toss kale with a few tablespoons of caesar dressing, then top with chickpeas, cubed avocado and season to taste. Serve immediately.