Tahini Kale Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons
An easy Caesar salad with an unusual but delicious tahini-based dressing
Yield: 4 servings
For the croutons:
  • one 8x8 pan of cornbread or 3 large cornbread muffins, cut into ½-inch cubes (whole-grain or sourdough bread are other great options)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt
For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 to 1½ lemons)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • freshly ground black pepper
For the rest of the salad:
  • 1 medium bunch (about 8 oz) Tuscan (lacinato) or curly kale, tough ribs removed and leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • fine sea salt
  • 5 oz romaine (about ½ small-medium head), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • one 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about ⅔ oz)
Make the croutons:
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the cubed bread on a large-rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss until the cubes are lightly and evenly coated in oil. (If you're using cornbread you will have a lot of crumbs. That's fine - they will be delicious.) Spread them out on the pan on a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt.
  3. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 12-16 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes.
Prepare the dressing:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard and salt. Whisk until well blended, and then add the water until you have a smooth, blended tahini sauce. Season generously with about ten twists of ground black pepper. The dressing should be tangy, like a classic Caesar dressing. Add more water, lemon juice, salt, etc. to taste.
Prepare the salad:
  1. Transfer the chopped kale to a large salad bowl. Add a dash of salt and massage the leaves with your hands by scrunching big handfuls at a time until the leaves are darker in color and the volume has reduced by about one-third.
  2. Add the chopped romaine, garbanzo beans and Parmesan cheese to the bowl.
  3. Wait to dress the salad until you're ready to serve since the romaine and croutons will get soggy if they're in contact with the dressing for too long. (I like to pack this salad for lunch a lot. I combine the kale, romaine, beans and cheese in a container and add a scoop of the dressing. When it's cold the dressing is pretty thick, so it will stay as a big clump until I eat my lunch and mix it all around in there. It doesn't affect much of the salad, which is great. I store my croutons in a separate container and add them right before eating.)
  4. When you're ready to eat, drizzle enough dressing over the greens to lightly coat. Toss until the dressing is evenly distributed. Add the croutons and toss again. Serve immediately.
lightly adapted from Love Real Food
Recipe by Cake Over Steak at https://cakeoversteak.com/tahini-kale-caesar-salad-with-cornbread-croutons/