Kid Friendly Caesar Salad
Moms, do I have caesar salad recipe for you. This is one of Eli’s favorite salads now and he literally requests it daily. He eats a whole plate full, even when I sneak some lacinato kale in the salad. I told him the other night as he scarfed down a plate full of salad that he just polished off about 1/4 a head of kale. His jaw just about slammed down on the table. He said he didn’t even know there was kale in the salad, he thought the dark green leaves were darker romaine lettuce pieces. The dressing is what makes this a kid friendly caesar salad (no anchovies, mayo or raw egg) or should I say adult friendly as well. You can make it more of an adult salad by adding some kale, as well as multigrain croutons. To keep it truly kid friendly, I would just serve the dressing over some romaine leaves and make up some sourdough or french bread croutons.
You know what I love about this salad? The dressing makes enough for a weeks worth of salads. I made the dressing up on Sunday and we paired this salad with our dinner all week. All I had to do was toss the dressing with some pre-washed and stored lettuce and kale leaves, and voila, the salad was complete. It was nice having a salad each night to compliment the other vegetables and entree I was serving. I’m finding that as my kids are growing, their appetites are as well. I need to have more variety and more substance on the table each night, and a salad is a great and healthy way to add that extra bit.
If you have a smaller household and don’t want salad all week, then feel free to cut the dressing recipe in half. I was going to do that originally, but was glad I didn’t, as I used every little bit of dressing. I love this dressing because there are no anchovies (not a fan of anchovies, sorry) mayo, or raw eggs in the dressing, which makes it a perfect family friendly dressing. It’s also so easy to throw together and uses such simple pantry ingredients.
Kid friendly caesar salad
recipe adapted from The Supper Club
Makes about 1 1/2 cups dressing
For the dressing:
- 1 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard – I love this one from Primal Kitchen as it doesn’t contain sugar or other weird stuff
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (roughly 1 1/2 lemons or 1 juicy lemon)
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad:
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, or 1/2 head romaine and 1/2 bunch of lacinato kale, thinly sliced – I always use a combination of romaine and kale, but if your child doesn’t like kale, then stick to romaine. Also, you can use more or less lettuce depending on the amount of people you are serving
- homemade croutons
- Roasted shredded chicken
In a high powered blender (I used my Vitamix) add in the 1 cup parmesan cheese, 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend on high speed to mince the garlic and to mix well.
With the machine running on low speed, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream and blend until emulsified. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
There you have it, fresh dressing. Now, wasn’t that easy?
Pour the dressing into a large glass mason jar or a couple of smaller ones, if you’re not using it right away. I honestly love these mason jars from Ball. I use them as our drinking glasses, as well as for storing dressings, almond milk, soups, you name it! They’re the best!
Storage: The dressing will last for a week after it’s made, as long as it’s stored in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator.
Note: You will have to whisk the dressing each time before you use it, as it will thicken up a bit.
Don’t worry if the dressing seems thick, it will be great once it gets mixed into the salad.
Ok, the dressing is done, so it’s time to assemble the salad!
To assemble the salad, wash the romaine and kale, and then de-stem the kale, thinly slice both the kale and romaine and toss them into a salad bowl.
Toss in the croutons and then add some dressing to taste. Toss well to coat all of the romaine and kale generously and evenly. Feel free to add more dressing as needed.
I find that when I thinly slice the kale and romaine my kids and their peeps tend to eat more of the salad.
When you make the dressing, it might seem like a lot, but you will love the fact that you can literally throw together a salad at the last minute. If you keep your lettuces washed and ready to go, then you will be able to throw this salad together in less than 5 minutes. Awesome!
If you want to make the salad a more complete meal, just add some roasted shredded chicken to the salad before tossing.
I love pairing this salad with some popovers!
It’s the perfect salad to serve up to guests and the perfect addition to any meal.
Zoe loves having the leftover caesar for lunch the next day. I just slice up some fresh greens, add some croutons, as well as any leftover shredded chicken and put it in a glass container. I put the dressing in a small glass container on the side. All she does at lunch is shake up the dressing, add the it to the salad and then mix it all together. Easy peasy! She has very envious friends when she takes this lunch to school.