a peek inside the fishbowl

28 Mar, 2013

Will they eat it: Kale Caesar!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

We’ve been on a Caesar salad kick lately. And I’ve been on a kale kick. So I got to thinking, why not combine the two and see if my family will go for it? And this is what resulted in this happy marriage:

Kale Caesar recipe

Ohhh, the garlic. And the BACON. And the cheese. (That’s a 30-month old Parmesan from Sobeys!) Those are three of my favourite foods RIGHT THERE. This is a delicous salad, and you know what? Seventy-five percent of available taste testers said they’d eat it again! (In other words, three out of four family members.)

I’d call that a win, wouldn’t you? The youngest even had a second helping. (!)

Here’s a tip: if you’re not sure if your family will willingly eat kale, mix it 50/50 with romaine and don’t say a word. They probably won’t even notice.

This recipe serves four as a side salad.

Andrea’s New Favourite Kale Caesar Salad Recipe


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (don’t cheap out on the cheese – buy the good stuff! It makes a difference!)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2 bunch kale, thick stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces.

Top with:

  • 4 slices thinly sliced double-smoked bacon, fried and crumbled (this is butcher shop or deli counter bacon yo)
  • Additional Parmesan, thinly sliced using the side of your box grater or mandolin
  • Your favourite croutons (I like using toasted, day old baguette for this.)

Mix up the dressing in a blender or Bullet and pour it over the kale in a big bowl and give it a good toss. You’ll want to do this about 15 minutes before serving. Top with extra cheese and bacon and croutons, if using.

We served this salad with steak sandwiches and it was AMAZING.

Let me know if you try this recipe. I’d love to hear if your kids ate it too.

5 Responses to "Will they eat it: Kale Caesar!"

1 | Elizabeth

March 28th, 2013 at 11:00 am


Very funny blog. Congratulations on the great pun. You made me laugh after a painful visit to the dentist this morning. Thank you.

We make the same dressing (but don’t add the mustard) so I will try it with some kale. Curious to see if the girls notice.

2 | Anne Waters (@amwaters)

March 28th, 2013 at 11:00 am


I do love kale caesar too. A trick I learned from the restaurant Supply and Demand, a favourite restaurant of mine in Wellington West, is that the leaves can be softened to be ‘romaine-like’ by massaging them. Supply and Demand have a wonderful kale salad on their menu. They massage the kale leaves at prep time and then again just before the salad is put together. Was happy to get their tip. It works!

3 | Sarah

March 29th, 2013 at 9:24 am


That looks great. And if you chop it finely, I find it looks less frightening to the kale averse. Have you tried Seed to Sausage’s delicious bacon?

I second the Supply and Demand kale salad. I inhaled it and was ready to fork stab my husband when he got too close to it.

4 | andrea tomkins

March 29th, 2013 at 10:43 am


A commenter mentioned the kale massage tip on the kale recipe I posted yesterday. I haven’t tried it but I definitely will. And yes, the Supply and Demand kale salad is getting rave reviews everywhere, which is why I was so happy to see the recipe in the Spring issue of Ottawa Style Magazine. You can get it right here!

5 | Krista

April 7th, 2013 at 6:09 pm


Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! We had 4 out of 4 thumbs up at supper tonight! I did a vegetarian version, with no bacon or Worcestershire, was fabulous :)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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