Blackened Chicken Kale Caesar + Curried Cauliflower Steaks

I'm back!! We're foregoing "Brunch Sundays" today for more of a "Lunch Sunday."

Life has been super busy lately and I haven't been able to post near as much as I want to. Things are slowly starting to settle down now that summer is around the corner (thank goodness).
But I'm back now and I have an incredibly tasty recipe to share with ya!

Let me tell you... I love a good kale salad. I talked about that a little bit with my Asian Kale Salad recipe, but just in case I haven't said it enough: I love it. It's definitely my favorite type of green for a salad.

Kale caesars are so popular right now. Almost every new and "trendy" restaurant you go to will have one on the menu.

Both my mom and dad inspired this recipe. My mom inspired me because she has recently been making kale caesar salads for dinner, using a partly homemade caesar dressing (with mayo). I really wanted to take on the challenge of making a completely homemade caesar dressing-- which I soon found out wasn't really a challenge at all. It's honestly so easy and takes just a few minutes to whip up.
As for my dad... his go-to salad at any restaurant is a blackened chicken caesar, so he just kind of inspired the whole recipe.

Except for the fact that I totally ruined it for him by throwing chickpeas in there. He hates chickpeas. And I couldn't help myself. I had some leftover roasted chickpeas from my Savory Breakfast Bowls and thought they would add the perfect little crunch. And they did.

This salad is LOADED. I will admit, it's a little bit complicated but so worth all the steps.
The best part about this salad is the dressing-- if you only make one part of this salad... make the dressing. It's addicting. But seriously, just make the whole dang thing. It's worth the time and extra effort. I love the curried cauliflower in this salad too; it adds an extra hearty bite and a punch of unexpected flavor. It all works so well together. I promise.

Here are all the components:

  • Kale
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shallots
  • Parsely
  • Blackened Chicken
  • Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
  • Caesar dressing
  • Crispy Chickpeas
  • Shaved Parmesan
  • Garlic-Herb Ciabatta
It might take a little bit of prep, but it is beyond worth it!

P.S. Don't be stingy with the dressing! Drizzle some extra right on top of the whole thing.

Blackened Chicken Kale Caesar + Curried Cauliflower Steaks

for the chicken:
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne 
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 chicken tenderloins or 2-3 flattened breasts (bone off)
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Mix all spices together. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and gently rub it in. Pour half of the spice rub on top of the chicken and rub to coat each one. Heat a large skillet over high heat until smoking. Place the chicken on it, leaving space between each one. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until "blackened." Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the chicken reaches 160º F, internally.
Let rest for at least 5 minutes, before cutting.

for the roasted cauliflower steaks:
  • 1 head of cauliflower- cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander
Preheat the oven to 425º.
Drizzle the cauliflower with oil, sprinkle with the salt, cumin, curry powder, and coriander, and rub in to coat each piece evenly. Roast on each side for 10 minutes.

for the dressing:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • olive oil (1/2 cup+)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 oz. can anchovies
  • 1 lemon- juiced
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • pinch ground cayenne 
Mince the garlic and anchovies together to create a paste. Whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice together until it has slightly grown in size and is a pale yellow color. Whisk in the dijon, anchovy/garlic paste, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. While whisking fast, slowly pour in 1/2 cup olive oil to create an emulsion. Add 1 tbs. cold water and continue whisking for a few more minutes until it is creamy and thick (like a traditional Caesar). If the dressing tastes too strong of salt, anchovy, or garlic, whisk in more oil, 1 tbs. at a time until it reaches your desired taste.

for the garlic-herb ciabatta:
  • ciabatta bread- sliced into about 3/4 inch thick slices
  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove- halved
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary- minced
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
Mix the olive oil with the rosemary, salt, and basil. Brush each piece of bread with the oil mixture on each side. Rub with the inside of the garlic clove. Grill or broil until golden brown and crispy.

for the salad:
  • 2-3 cups packed roughly chopped dinosaur kale
  • crispy chickpeas
  • 1 shallot- thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes- halved
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley 
  • shaved parmesan and black pepper for topping
Toss the kale and parsley together and massage with 1 tbs. each olive oil and lemon juice until the kale is tender.
Toss in the tomatoes and shallots. Drizzle in the dressing and toss together. Top with the crispy chickpeas, chicken, and roasted cauliflower. Add a side of ciabatta and finish with parmesan shavings and black pepper.

Cecilia A.


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