Massaged Kale Caesar with Homemade Dressing

You know you’re going to be craving a salad on Friday. I always do. I love stuffing my face with stuffing on Thanksgiving, but the next day when I’m feeling stuffed I’m ready for a run and a salad. ‘Tis the season for the Squiggly Line. This massaged kale caesar is fancy enough to serve to company yet simple enough to put together when time is short.

Massaged Kale Caesar

This recipe comes from Della’s collection of amazing food at Plenty Cville. The secret sauce is in….the secret sauce! AKA – homemade caesar dressing. Plus sweet roasted tomatoes, store bought crouton crumbles, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Roasting Tomatoes

You might be tempted to skip this step and serve them raw, but roasting the tomatoes is key. Their natural sweetest bubbles out and balances the salty dressing and parmesan on top. Make sure they’re face up on the baking sheet so the juices re-absorb.

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Short Cut Croutons + Homemade Dressing

The croutons in this dressing are crushed Trader Joe’s parmesan crisps! They’re perfect as salad toppers, and the crushed shape gives a rustic look.

And the dressing – OMG! Mostly parmesan, a little lemon, a little Worcestershire, champagne vinegar, mayonnaise. It comes together better than anything bottled I’ve tried. Using a jar and a stick blender is your easiest mix strategy, but you can you a regular blender too.

Homemade Kale Caesar

This simple massaged kale caesar salad features roasted cherry tomatoes and a homemade caesar dressing that is easy to make and fancy enough for company.


  • 8 cups of kale ideally a blend of curly and lacinato
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Trader Joes Parmesan crisps crushed into bite-size bits (or make your own!)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

For the dressing

  • 3 cloves garlic pressed or grated
  • lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 1 pinch kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

  • Spread halved tomatoes on baking sheet, face up to preserve juices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1 tsp olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.

  • For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a wide mouth mason jar and emulsify with immersion blender.

  • Massage kale with dressing plus 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese.

  • Top with tomatoes, croutons and more parmesan to taste.

I love this kale caesar paired with the Citrus Curry Farro Salad!