Warm Kale Caesar Salad With Crispy Chickpea Croutons

Warm Kale Caesar Salad With Crispy Chickpea Croutons

By Bracha Serle 

The classic Caesar salad uses tossed Romaine lettuce with a dressing that includes anchovies, egg, and Worcestershire sauce. Many times it’s made in a home kitchen using mayonnaise to get that creamy texture, without having to use raw eggs and being able to serve it along with meat. Here, a non-egg, and fish variation uses capers and soy sauce to reach the same umami – the fifth, “meaty-savory” taste, when tossed with lightly toasted kale. Top it with crispy garlicky chickpeas instead of bread croutons and it’s gluten free!

Makes 8 servings


  • For the dressing
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 heaping teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the crispy chickpea croutons

  • 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (when cooking at high temperatures it is better to use oils that have a higher smoke point, such as grapeseed oil and avocado oil)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the warm kale salad

  • 15 oz fresh kale chopped
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Dressing: In a blender, combine the oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, mustard, and soy sauce and blend until the garlic is finely minced. Add the capers and pulse until the capers are chopped. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (The dressing can be made up to four days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Chickpea croutons: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with oil and seasonings. Add chickpeas to a baking sheet. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the chickpeas are slightly crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Salad: In a large mixing bowl add 1 tbsp. each lemon juice and olive oil to the kale and massage with hands to soften the texture and lessen bitterness. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped kale and heat until the kale begins to wilt, about 4-5 minutes. Allow the kale to get a bit toasted and browned. Remove from heat.

Assemble: Add warm kale to large mixing bowl. Pour proffered amount of dressing and toss to combine. Place in a large salad bowl and top with crispy chickpea croutons; you can also add some freshly ground black pepper for garnish.

Bracha Serle works as a private chef specializing in healthy cooking such as gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and other dietary restrictions or allergies. She also does end-product marketing for kosher food companies and supermarkets, teaching consumers how to use new food products on a daily basis. Bracha gives clean-eating healthy cooking classes and demonstrations. You can check out her work on Instagram @shesthechef and can be reached via email at serle.bracha@gmail.com.