Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan
I could make an entire meal of this Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan, and this favorite salad of mine is also Keto, low-glycemic, and gluten-free, and can be South Beach Diet friendly if you go easy on the Parmesan! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
I first made this Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan
with my nephew Jake in 2011, and we absolutely could not stop eating it when we tested the recipe. It was Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw
from Bon Appetit Magazine that gave us the idea of Caesar dressing with kale, and when we made it we added some Romaine for a more traditional, but still interesting take on Caesar salad.
Through the years I’ve made this quite a few times, adapting the recipe a bit along the way by using baby kale, shaving the Parmesan (and using more!) and also replacing the anchovy paste in the original dressing recipe with a little bit of fish sauce. (Or use Vegan Fish Sauce if you want to keep it strictly meatless.)
I love the idea of Caesar dressing recipe with no raw eggs, and the dressing in this recipe is really good, but even if you cheat and use my favorite bottled Caesar Dressing (or your own favorite vegan Caesar dressing) this will still be an amazingly delicious salad. And recently I decided this favorite salad recipe simply must have better photos to show off its deliciousness, so here you go!
We used ice cold water in the salad spinner to crisp the baby kale, which is a step you can certainly skip if you’d like. Make sure the kale leaves are as dry as you can get them, then put the kale into the salad bowl. Chop Romaine, wash in the salad spinner and spin extra dry and add to salad bowl. Buzz together the fresh lemon juice, fish sauce (or anchovy paste), garlic, Dijon, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Use a vegetable peeler to shave large strips of Parmesan from a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano
cheese and then coarsely chop it with a knive (or you can use coarsely grated Parmesan from a jar if you don’t have a block.)
Toss the baby kale and washed Romaine together in a bowl with the desired amount of dressing. Then add a generous amount of shaved Parmesan (saving some for the top) and toss again! That’s all!
Add fresh-ground black pepper at the table if desired. Devour the salad and start thinking about how quickly you can make it again. (And Kale is one of The World’s Healthiest Foods
, so you can give yourself a tiny pat on the back if you eat this as a main dish salad or part of a healthy meal.
Low-Carb Caesar Salad with Kale, Romaine, and Shaved Parmesan
(Makes 4 servings or more, recipe adapted from Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw at Bon Appetit Magazine.)
5 oz. package of baby kale, crisped in cold water if needed and dried well (I used a salad spinner and then dried more with paper towels)
4-5 oz. romaine lettuce, chopped, washed and dried very well
shaved Parmesan from a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste, I used a generous amount
(You can use coarsely grated Parmesan from a jar, but I don’t recommend finely grated Parmesan for this salad.)
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I use my frozen fresh lemon juice)
1 tsp. fish sauce (I like Red Boat Fish Sauce.)
(You can also use 1 T anchovy paste from a tube or substitute soy sauce. This salad is also great with my favorite bottled Caesar Dressing
if making dressing just isn’t happening at your house.)
1 tsp. garlic puree (I used garlic puree from a jar)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
6 T olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
If the kale seems even the tiny bit wilted I’d put it into a salad spinner with very cold water and let it crisp for a few minutes. Then spin the kale dry, dry more with paper towels if needed, and put kale into large salad bowl. Chop the romaine lettuce (discarding root ends and any damaged outer leaves). Then wash the lettuce in the salad spinner with very cold water, spin dry, and dry more with paper towels if needed. Put the lettuce into the salad bowl.
In a blender, food processor, or the mini-processor bowl of an immersion blender combine the lemon juice, fish sauce (or anchovy paste or soy sauce), garlic puree, and Dijon and pulse together a few times. Then add the olive oil 2 tablespoons at a time, pulsing for a few seconds after each addition of oil is. Season the dressing with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Put dressing in the fridge and chill until ready to use,.
Add desired amount of dressing to the greens and toss, until all the salad greens are very lightly coated with dressing. (You may not need all the dressing, but save it in the fridge for another time.) Add the shaved chopped Parmesan to the salad and toss again. Serve right away, adding fresh-ground black pepper at the table if desired.
If making this dressing is just not going to happen at your house, I’d still make the salad and simply dress it with Cardini’s Caesar, which is my all-time favorite bottled Caesar dressing, or use your favorite vegan Caesar dressing.
We had a little bit of the salad left and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted the next day even after being in the fridge overnight. I think this would be a great salad to take to work already made for lunch, as long as you have a fridge to keep it in during the morning.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This salad is perfect for low-carb or Keto Diets and a long as you use a moderate amount of dressing, this salad is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet. I still remember how excited I was when I found Cardini’s Caesar recommended as a good low-glycemic
salad dressing in one of the South Beach Diet cookbooks, since it had been my favorite for years, so any salad with these flavors is going to be a hit with me.
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More Tasty Salads with Kale:
Baby Kale Greek Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Massaged Kale Salad ~ That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chopped Mexican Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing ~ Lauren Kelly Nutrition
For old time’s sake, here the original uninspiring photo from 2011! Aren’t you happy that I’ve improved the salad since then with much more thickly shaved Parmesan!