I’m in love with this salad. It’s filling, flavorful and super healthy. You can find me making it multiple times a week.
I pair a garlicky, tangy, creamy dressing that tastes identical to Caesar dressing with massaged kale and smokey roasted chickpeas for the ultimate vegan Caesar recreation. I recently started topping it with a vegan parmesan (which is so easy to make!) and it takes the flavor to another level. I highly recommend you try it!
To recreate the classic Caesar dressing, we use soaked cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and water to thin.
For the best Caesar salad dressing texture, you want to soak your cashews in a bowl of water so they are easier to blend. I soak mine overnight, and I highly recommend you do so as well. If you forgot to leave them overnight, you can soak them in boiling water for 4-6 hours. Even with a high-powered blender, I find it’s still way better to soak them beforehand for plenty of time.
The secret ingredient to the caesar dressing is the Dijion mustard! This really brings the flavor forward and makes it taste identical to the dairy version of Caesar salad Dressing.
Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
VEGAN CAESAR DRESSING
1/4 cup cashews
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5-6 stalks of kale, about 2 cups
1 can chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE (optional)
1/2 cup cashews
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 200 C, and while it’s heating, drain, rinse and dry your chickpeas off in a tea towel. If some skins come off that’s okay, just toss them. Once dry, toss in olive oil. Coat the chickpeas well. Spread over a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins. At this halfway point, take them out, coat them in the seasonings and place bake in the oven for another 10-15 mins or until brown and slightly crunchy.
As the chickpeas cool off, they can lose their crunch. Be sure to eat them while warm!
You can also coat the chickpeas in olive oil and seasonings before placing them in the oven. I find that the seasonings can burn, and the best way to retain the flavor is adding them in halfway through baking.
Rinse the kale leaves off well, de-stem and pat dry in a tea towel. Cut into bite size pieces. In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and begin to massage with your hands. Do this for about 5 mins or until kale is a desired texture. Set aside.
In a blender, add the soaked cashews (soaked for at least 4-6 hours), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dijon, salt, pepper and water. Blend until smooth. If needed, add 1-2 tbsp more water.
VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE
(not my original recipe, gathered from multiple sources)
In a food processor, pulse the ingredients until a fine, crumbly texture is achieved. Keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
In a large bowl, add the dressing to the kale salad and coat the leaves well. Top with roasted chickpeas and vegan parmesan. Enjoy the chickpeas while still warm, as they tend to lose their crunch as they cool down.
WHAT DID YOU THINK?
Tag @theveganspell in your photos if you recreate this recipe, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!