Damn Good Food

Dairy Free Kale Caesar with Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing

When you are craving a traditional Caesar salad, but want an option that packs more nutritional value! This pairs so wonderfully with our easy homemade tomato soup.

Why do I love this salad you ask? Because it's a simple way to up your nutritional intake, while still packing on the flavor. Kale is the powerhouse of dark leafy greens and can taste good when prepared well, I promise. I know it can be intimidating, but try adding this bad boy into your lunch or dinner rotation and you may be asking for kale more often. A traditional Caesar salad is made with croutons, but we switched that for roasted garlic chickpeas here. The dressing is made without anchovies or raw eggs, so is also vegan friendly and the tahini gives it a different spin, while the capers bring out some of the traditional salty fish flavor.
Prepares: 2 large servings, 4 small
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes (chickpeas)
The Goods:
The Chickpeas:
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 large bundles lacinato or curly kale, chopped or torn
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved (pictures as shredded)
Salad Dressing: 
2 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp Tahini
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp capers, minced
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne Pepper (optional for an extra kick)
2 tbsp warm water (optional)
Note: For a more traditional Caesar dressing, you an also add 1/4- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

How To:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. To prep the chickpeas, open the can, drain, dry with a towel, and toss in EVOO, garlic, and salt on a baking dish. Spread evenly and place in center rack for 35-40 minutes or until they are lightly toasted. If possible, toss halfway through to ensure they are crisp all the way around.
  2. While chickpeas are roasting, prepare the dressing by placing all ingredients, with the exception of the water into a blender and blend on low to medium until a thick and smooth consistency forms. Add water if needed as you are blending and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  3. Place kale with stems removed into a larger mixing bowl. Use your hands to rip the kale into small pieces and massage generously with EVOO, salt, and lemon.
  4. Toss the salad in the dressing and you can even let it marinade if time allows in the fridge, since that is the glorious part of Kale.
  5. Once the chickpeas are done, let them cool for approximately 10 minutes and then sprinkle on top of the kale salad.
  6. The last step is to sprinkle with shaved (preferred) or shredded parmesan cheese, toss, and enjoy! This salad will keep for a few days, given it's kale so make extra for the next day's lunch or dinner.