There is a DIY super healthy salad bar chain in DC called Sweetgreen that I love. I could eat there every day and never get tired of it. I always get the same thing – a kale Caesar (hold the tomato) and a green juice for later. One of the biggest surprises from working with Sargento on my flavor journey is my new found love for kale and dark greens. 6 months ago I never, ever, ever would have ordered a kale salad. Now I want to eat it every day, and sometimes more than once a day. As much as I love going to Sweetgreen, it is kinda far from my house, and DC traffic is always a gamble, so I decided to make my own at home. It is just as good if not better, if I do say so myself.
My version is a little different than theirs, I use a more vinaigrette-type dressing, and they use a creamy one. You could even use a high quality bottled dressing if you wanted to. In place of croutons, they use Parmesan crisps and it is a brilliant idea. Parmesan crisps are really easy to make at home. Just line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the cheese in a thin layer, bake until the edges are brown and crisp. The crisps are great in soups too. Another thing I love about this salad is the squeeze of fresh lime right before you eat it. I love the fresh hit. I would never have thought to do that on my own, thanks Sweetgreen!
On a personal note, Happy Birthday to my Nonnie. Hope that your day is wonderful, we wish that we could spend it with you. xoxo.
1 (5-oz.) bag Sargento Artisan Blends Parmesan Cheese
1 head curly kale
1 head romaine
Roasted chicken, cut into small chunks
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon raw honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or lime)
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Spread the cheese out into a thin, single layer. (Next time, I would probably do about 6 smaller rounds. I like the burnt edges.)
Bake for 6 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges are brown and crisp.
Let cool completely and break into small pieces.
Wash the kale. Cut out the stalks. Cut into thin strips. Cut the romaine into thin strips also.
Add the garlic, Dijon, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a mason jar. Shake well.
Add olive oil and shake again. Taste for seasoning,
To make the salad, add the kale, romaine, chicken, and Parmesan crisps to a large bowl. Add about half of the dressing. Toss well, and add more dressing if needed.
**This post is a part of my ongoing collaboration with Sargento Cheese. All opinions are 100% my own.**