Dinners/ Salads/ Vegetables

Kale & Quinoa Caesar Salad + My Favorite Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Kale & Quinoa Caesar Salad + My Favorite Homemade Ciabatta Croutons | The Foodwright

So. This relationship I have with kale. We all know about it. It’s no secret. So I mean, let’s just say it again.

I really really really love kale. There’s even a glamour shot below because I just think it’s so great.

Kale & Quinoa Caesar Salad + My Favorite Homemade Ciabatta Croutons | The Foodwright

There’s a kale & quinoa salad at Cafe Zupas that has all these lovely things inside (wow, so descriptive) and I’m OBSESSED. I get it every single time I go! That and the grilled chicken pesto sandwich. Ohhhhhh yes ? Anyway, that’s probably where the real kale salad love began.

For fresh kale salads, I prefer the texture of tuscan kale, also known as DINOSAUR kale ? (<– let’s all pretend that’s a dinosaur) Totally a forreal thing. For a sauteed kale salad –> this is literally one of the best salads I have EVER had. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my recipe 😉

I kinda sorta cheated with my caesar dressing because traditionally, anchovy paste is used, but I cannot STAND anchovies…so I left them out. It all started back when we were in Mexico when I was younger and we were eating at a really nice restaurant in Cuernavaca and my dad had something brown on his plate and I decided to try it and it was absolutely HORRIBLE and I was like dad what is this and he was like oh it’s an anchovy and then I asked him if someone could die from drinking too much water because I was drinking SO much water because anchovies are SALTAAYY.

Anyway. I’m a strong, independent woman that doesn’t need anchovies in her caesar dressing. Amen.

{Also, the dressing is loosely based off of this recipe from HSE’s Instagram!}

Kale & Quinoa Caesar Salad + My Favorite Homemade Ciabatta Croutons | The Foodwright

ALSO –> we leave for our super-secret Christmas trip in t-minus…3 DAYS! SO EXCITED!! What are your Christmas plans?

Kale & Quinoa Caesar Salad | The Foodwright

Serves 2-4 


1 c cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature

1/3 c salted pistachios

1/3 c dried, unsweetened bing cherries

1/2 avocado, sliced & then cut in half again, so you have thin little chunks

1 head tuscan kale, washed, de-stemmed, & sliced in strips

for the dressing: 

4 cloves garlic

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 t red wine vinegar

1/4 t salt

some good shakes/cranks of black pepper

1 T dijon mustard

1/4 c plain greek yogurt

1/4 c good mayonnaise

1/4 c olive oil

3 T finely grated fresh parmesan cheese (+ extra for sprinkling)

for the croutons: 

1 1/2 c medium-ish ciabatta chunks

2 T olive oil

s & p


For the croutons, in a skillet on medium high heat, pour in the olive oil. Add the ciabatta chunks, and then capping the skillet with a lid, shake it around so the ciabatta pieces are evenly coated in olive oil. You could probably do this in a bag, but we like to live dangerously. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Stir around the pieces every 30 seconds or so to make sure everyone in there is evenly toasted. Take off the heat when they’re all nice and lightly golden brown. Let cool, and then serve with the salad. 

Prepare dressing by blending all dressing ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Starting with about 1/2 cup of the dressing, toss with the kale. Add more dressing if you’d like, or just leave it out on the table in case someone wants a little extra.

Throw in the quinoa, cherries, pistachios, avocado, and croutons, tossing well to evenly distribute the chunks through the salad (even if at the end of the day, they’re always at the bottom. Boo) Serve immediately.

Note: This salad does keep well for a couple days, but I prefer it on the first day 🙂

Kale & Quinoa Caesar Salad | The Foodwright

xo, Lucia

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  • Reply
    February 1, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Just thought you should know-I made this on Saturday night for a party (Lisa is moving) and it was a huge hit! Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      February 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      That makes me SO happy, Angie!! Thanks for letting me know!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 16, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    I had this for dinner last night and it was so good that I had it for lunch again today! Seriously delicious. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

    • Reply
      December 17, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      So glad to hear it! Thanks, Laura!! xo

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