Salads are a summertime staple. Fresh, light, satisfying, but not too heavy.
They’re quick to whip up, and go great with grilled meat or vegetables. Perfect for a light summer dinner by the pool with a large iced tea or glass of crisp white wine.
This kale salad is perfect for people who are still dipping their toes into the world of kale.
Sometimes an ALL kale salad can be a little fibrous and chewy, so this salad is half curly kale, half tender green leaf lettuce. It makes the salad a little lighter and balanced, while still holding up to the dressing, rich cheese, and crispy croutons.
The secret to this salad is the homemade croutons.
They’re super simple to make. Just cube up some bread, toss it with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, and bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy.
The croutons last for weeks if kept in a sealed bag the pantry (but watch them disappear quickly! They’re hard to resist snacking on 😉 )
Once you start making your own croutons, you’ll never go back.
Aside from baking the croutons, this salad requires very little work! Simply whisk together the salad dressing ingredients, grate some cheese (very easy to do with the grating blade in a food processor), and rip up some greens. Toss together, and you’re good to go!
This salad dressing actually comes from the San Francisco a la Carte cookbook by The Junior League of San Francisco (published way back in 1979!). It was one of my favorite dressings as a kid. Don’t be too weirded out by the raw egg. It’s actually super delicious. You can use pasteurized eggs if you’re worried about salmonella, or just swap in mayonnaise (although it will make for a heavier/creamier dressing).
- 1 small bunch curly kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 small head green leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
- 6 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
- 20 oz French Parisian bread, or other soft and dense loaf
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg, replace with mayonnaise if immuno-compromised or use pasteurized eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Place the torn kale and lettuce into a large bowl. Store in the fridge while you make the croutons.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into roughly 1-inch cubes and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and garlic powder. Use your hands to toss and make sure all the croutons are evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Spread out evenly on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The croutons will continue to crisp as they cool.
Meanwhile, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients (egg, salt, garlic powder, pepper, olive oil, and red wine vinegar) in a small bowl and set aside.
Add the croutons and cheese to the salad bowl with the kale and lettuce. Pour the dressing over top and toss well to evenly coat. Serve right away.