The Northern Michigan holidays are full of sweet treats and rich meals. Lighten your holiday dinner table with this wholesome creamy kale caesar salad that’s full of flavor. Created by Patrick Brys of Brys Estate in Traverse City, the salad is easy to make and will add a refined touch to your menu.

Creamy Kale Caesar with Pumpkin Seeds & Pumpernickel

Serves 6

For the dressing:

  • 3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2  teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2  teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1⁄2  teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon, anchovy paste, pepper and paprika. Whisk to combine. Slowly add olive oil in a thin stream whisking continuously until the dressing is fully emulsified.

For the salad:

  • 1⁄2 cup pumpkin seeds
6 slices pumpernickel bread
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
    12 ounces baby kale
  • Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

In a medium sauté pan, add the pumpkin seeds and place on a burner over medium heat. Toast for 4-5 minutes stirring constantly until the pumpkin seeds are lightly toasted but not burnt. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Cut pumpernickel bread into 1-inch cubes. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the pumpernickel cubes and drizzle with olive oil. Sauté until the croutons are crisp and toasty brown. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large salad bowl, add the kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpernickel crouton, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Add a few tablespoons of the creamy Caesar dressing and toss to combine. Add more dressing as needed and continue tossing until the salad is well dressed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

More Northern Michigan Food & Drink