Recipe: Kale Corn Chip Caesar Salad

Written by Meg Yonson | 8 December, 2020

I should say I’m totally aware that this is a completely bastardised version of a real caesar, but it hits on all the same elements. Lots of greens, smoky tempeh as a stand in for bacon, corn chips for a crouton crunch and a creamy Parmesan dressing.

If you’re saving some of this Caesar for lunch tomorrow, note that corn chips do not store well in a well-dressed salad! Refrain from tossing the corn chips through, and sprinkle them on top when you eat the salad.

Kale Corn Chip Caesar Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero (Tuscan Kale)
  • 1 head cos lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium Lebanese cucumber, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 3 cups plain, salted corn chips

For the Dressing

  • 60g parmesan, finely grated
  • ⅓ cup olive-oil based mayonnaise or aioli (or you can use full-fat yoghurt)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 anchovy in oil, finely sliced

For the Smoky Tempeh

  • 450g tempeh, finely sliced longways
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Make the dressing by adding all ingredients into a small bowl and mixing to combine. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast for 3-4 minutes until golden brown (try not to burn them!). Tip onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Place tempeh strips into a bowl and sprinkle over paprika, gently toss until coated (but doesn’t matter if it’s not perfectly coated it’s best to not break the tempeh).
  4. Place the frying pan back over medium-high heat and drizzle in a good glug of olive oil. Add the tempeh strips in batches and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp.
  5. To assemble the salad, add the kale into a large bowl. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil and use your hands to massage the kale leaves for 30 seconds until it softens. Add in the cos, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, corn chips and half of the almonds. Drizzle over the dressing and toss with tongs or hands to combine. At this point you want to make sure your salad is well coated in yummy creamy dressing. If you’ve added a lot of lettuce, go ahead and make a second batch of dressing or just another scoop of aioli so you can coat it well. There is NOTHING worse than raw kale with no creamy factor.
  6. Divide between bowls and top with the smoky tempeh and remaining almonds.

Meat free tip: To make this dish vegetarian omit the anchovy (use a dash or tamari instead if you like), and use any rennet-free sharp cheese instead of parmesan.

This recipe comes from Meg’s eBook “A Small Book of Really Good Salads” available here.

Recipe: Meg Yonson
Photography: Luisa Brimble
Styling: Olivia Blackmore


Meg Yonson

Meg is a qualified nutritionist, experienced recipe developer, creative thinker and graphic designer who works on food projects, predominantly in the health and wellness space. She's been working professionally in food for seven years creating highly-engaging, nutritious recipe content that spans across print and digital platforms.

Read more by Meg Yonson