I love kale. There I said it. I know it’s not the most popular thing to say in some circles, but I really do love kale. The last picnic I attended, I brought kale chips. I made everyone try one. As expected some loved them and some did not. Bottom line- I am an ambassador for this curly sturdy vegetable and proud. As I thought about recipe ideas for all of these summer picnics, I wondered how I could marry the idea of my very favorite kale caesar salad and give it the convenience of a picnic pasta salad. Voila! Kale Caesar Pasta Salad is born!
One of my favorite blogs, Gimme Some Oven, posted this Caesar salad dressing with Greek yogurt so my recipe is modeled after this recipe. I just took out the anchovies to keep it vegetarian and modified a few of the ingredient amounts to suit my tastes and add some fresh herb flavor. You won’t believe how rich and creamy the dressing is. It almost seems sinful, but it’s free of the chemicals and high sodium content of your average bottled dressing, and the Greek Yogurt adds a hit of protein. I don’t think you can stop at one bite. I know I couldn’t.
Summertime means beach picnics, backyard barbecues and impromptu get-togethers so it’s a good idea to have recipes like this in your back pocket. This way no matter how little notice, you can throw this together and your friends will be impressed that you didn’t put that plastic container of deli macaroni salad down on the table. Hey if you like that kind of thing, no judgement here, but try this Kale Caesar Pasta Salad while you’re at it and see if you don’t become a believer.
Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- 4 1/2 cups Kale, shredded
- 3 1/2 cups Penne Pasta
- 1/4 cup Almonds, toasted
- 6 oz. Greek non-fat yogurt
- 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tsp. Worsestershire Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- black pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp. milk to thin if desired
- 2 tbsp. Chives, chopped
- 2 tbsp. Parsley, chopped
To prepare the ingredients for the salad massage the kale with 2 teaspoons of olive oil until it starts to turn a darker shade of green. This helps the kale to be more tender. While you prepare the kale, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
For the dressing: Mix all dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk together or use a blender to bring things together.
Toss the kale and pasta together. Add the dressing a little at a time and toss until it’s coated to your liking. Sprinkle the top with sliced toasted almonds.