It seems like everywhere I dine out these days, I find kale Caesar salad on the menu. And for good reason! Everyone loves it – that garlic bite, the unctuous dressing, and the virtuous feeling that comes from eating dark leafy greens.

This riff makes the most of the season’s fresh asparagus. Leave the anchovy paste out to make the recipe vegan.

Asparagus & Kale Caesar Salad

Serves 3-4

1 large bunch of asparagus
1 bunch kale
1 garlic clove
1 lemon
1/2 avocado
2 tsp anchovy paste, optional
1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds

Prep | Cook

Turn the broiler on high; place the rack 4″ from the broiler

Trim the asparagus.

Put the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Broil, turning as necessary, until tender and slightly charred, 5-10 minutes.

Trim and slice the kale into ribbons and place it in a large bowl.

Check on the asparagus.

Peel and mince 1 clove of garlic; add it to a small bowl. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the small bowl with the garlic. Roughly chop 1/2 an avocado and add it to the bowl with the anchovy paste, if using.

Lightly mash together the garlic, lemon juice, avocado and anchovy paste. (You can also use a small food processor or blender to mix the ingredients into a smooth dressing.) Add the avocado mixture to the bowl with the kale and massage it into the kale, using your hands, until the kale appears slightly wilted.

When the asparagus is cooked, cut it into 2″ pieces and add it to the bowl along with 1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds. Toss and serve.


Photo by John, used with permission