Pesto Caesar Kale Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

Posted December 11, 2014 in dinner, salad, kale, recipe, healthy, healthy cooking, healthy recipes, healthy living, healthy eating

A few weeks ago, the BF and I went out for a little date night at Sozo, a local modern American restaurant. I ordered a kale salad, and pretty much freaked out over how amazingly delicious it was.

I realized that it was something I could easily make at home (for a fraction of the price)! The restaurant version was topped with crab cakes, but the version I made at home was more of a side dish. You could totally add some kind of protein and make this a whole meal. You could also add some crumbled bacon (or turkey bacon) for a little saltiness - the restaurant version had little bacon crumbles.

I picked up the ingredients, and whipped together this salad in no time at all. I even made my own caesar dressing (something I've never made before!). I used this recipe from the Food Network.

Homemade salad dressing is so easy and so worth making. You know exactly what's going into your dressing, rather than buying the bottled stuff that has preservatives and unpronouncable ingredients. I didn't make a super healthy version of caesar dressing. I modified a Food Network recipe. I don't really like a ton of dressing on my salad, so I'm good with having the real deal in a small amount.

The first part of my recipe recommends massaging the kale. Definitely don't skip this step. Kale can be a bit bitter and hearty. Massaging your kale with a bit of olive oil will break it down a little. The leaves will turn darker green and even become smaller. Keep massaging until the kale is not as bitter, about five minutes or so.

Pesto Caesar Kale Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

For caesar dressing:

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1/2 cup olive oil

salt

peper

lemon juice

Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar and a pinch of salt in a blender. Add mayonnaise and blend. Slowly add olive oil as you blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

For salad:

3 cups kale, chopped

2 tbsp. pesto

2 tbsp. dried cranberries

2 tbsp. sliced almonds

salt and pepper to taste

Massage kale for about five minutes until leaves are less bitter. Toss with desired amount of caesar dressing. Add pesto, cranberries and almonds and toss together. Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

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