Massaged Kale Caesar Salad


You guys- hell may have frozen over. I’m posting a non dessert as my first post of 2014! I actually had a sweet recipe originally planned for today, but I posted a poll on my facebook page and majority ruled a salad recipe first and back to treats next week. :)

Luckily this salad is not only full of healthy dark, leafy greens, but it is so so good. I love this enough to have made it several times already and I pretty much crave it daily. There is a great salad place in the city called sweetgreens that makes a kale caesar that I used to go to every week or so for my fix but now I don’t have to! Their version is half kale/half romaine but I love the all kale version and I need those greens so there ya go!


This was my first time making my own caesar dressing and also my first time making a “massaged” kale salad which results in super soft tender greens that aren’t the least bit tough or rough like I always assume kale salads to be. The dressing is perfectly flavored and some delicious crunch is added from topping the salad with “parmesan crisps” which are crunchy toasts with crispy parmesan on top. (They add a great touch but regular croutons work too!)

As I get closer to baby time I’ve found myself craving sweets. A lot. My midwife wants me to try to cut back on them in the final stretch so I hope you don’t mind a greater mix of sweet and savory as we go forward. I genuinely loved this salad and felt so good to be getting all those vitamins and nutrients from the kale. It’s a new favorite for sure! :)

Massaged Kale Caesar Salad

Yield: 2 large (dinner sized) or 4 (side) portions


  • 1 For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets
  • 2½ tbsp. mayonnaise
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch kale, about 8-12 oz., with ribs removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Parmesan crisps or croutons
  • 1/2 cup grape/cherry tomatoes., optional
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


For the dressing:

  1. Use a fork to mash the anchovies into a paste and add to a small bowl along with the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, oil and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk together until well combined. Add the pepper and parmesan and continue to whisk until a smooth (ish) dressing has formed. Add more pepper or salt to taste.

For the kale:

  1. In a large bowl, drizzle oil onto kale. Use your hands to massage the oil into the greens for a few minutes until they are shiny and tender.
  2. Add the parmesan crisps or croutons and tomatoes.
  3. Toss with the dressing and top with grated parmesan.


*If you don't add the croutons/crisps the salad can actually sit in the fridge for few hours and the kale will hold up just fine. Toss the croutons in before serving so they don't get soggy. Recipe adapted from: Annie's Eats via Three Many Cooks

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. I have never heard of massaged kale, but I love it if it makes the greens a bit softer! I generally avoid kale salads for that very reason. I love love love this salad and the idea of swapping the nutrient-rich kale instead of the regular romaine lettuce! Pinned!

  2. This looks super tasty and I will definitely be trying it out sometime soon! Can’t wait to see what other savoury recipes you share with us in the future :)

  3. This looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. Where did you get the Parmesan crisps, or did you make those?

  4. Yum Audra! This looks delicious! I love kale, when it’s done right! I love that you took a poll-I guess everyone (myself included!) over-indulged on Christmas treats! :)

  5. If all of my salads looked this gorgeous, I would totally crave them all of the time. And caesar dressing? I could drink the stuff. (Gross, but true.) Happy 2014!

  6. Oh my goodness. This looks delightful, and honestly, I could use a good salad or five in this new year, so I’m definitely saving this recipe for later. Never made Caesar dressing before, but I think it’s high time I tried, especially since this just sounds too good to pass up!

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