These are a few of my favorite things.
Caesar salad, naan bread, hummus. And crispy chickpeas. And pizza. So this is a combination of all of those. And the result reminds me of my freshman year of college when I was introduced to the life changing magic of the pizza salad. It was served in one of the school cafeterias (The Pit), and it was a small personal sized pizza dough, cooked with just some seasoning and very light cheese, and then topped with whatever salad you wanted. It was so good, so legendary. And yet, like so many good things in life, it came to an end at some point a couple of years later (I'll never understand why), and only recently did I decide it'd be a new goal of mine to eat more pizza salad (or at least pizza salad-esque things).
This is a stepped up rendition from the ones I had in my college days—it's an elevated, interesting Caesar salad with crunchy, bitter kale and amazing homemade dressing (with naan instead of regular ole'). Don't skimp on the dressing and the Parmesan—the kale can stand up to ALL of it!
Naan flatbread with hummus and Caesar drenched kale
Yields about 4 servings
Homemade Caesar dressing (recipe below)
½ cup or so Crispy chickpeas, using this method (or regular, rinsed and drained, if you prefer)
10-12 oz Tuscan kale (most of the tough, thick stems removed), chopped up into bite sized pieces or small ribbons
2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for grilling
4 pieces of good naan
½ cup or so good hummus
¼ cup or so Grated Parmesan, or just some long shavings if you’d like
Begin by making the homemade Caesar dressing (recipe below) at least a few hours or up to one day ahead. And if you’d like to use crispy chickpeas, make those at least an hour before eating. Then, when ready to eat, begin by tossing the chopped kale with 2 T olive oil in a large bowl. Using your hands or tongs, keep tossing over and over until kale is very well coated (the olive oil helps to soften the kale). Let sit for five minutes. Then mix in ¾ of the Caesar dressing, and let it sit again for a few minutes. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat, and brush a bit of olive oil onto both sides of naan. Grill for a few minutes per side until naan has nice grill marks and has crisped up quite a bit. Spread a couple tablespoons of hummus on top side of naan. Add chickpeas and grated Parmesan to the salad, and use Tongs to pile a good amount of the salad on naan. Drizzle the remaining dressing over each (do not skimp on dressing; the kale really needs a lot), and serve right away with a fork and knife, or using hands to rip pieces apart and eat like flatbread.
Homemade Caesar dressing
Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit
Yields about 1 cup dressing, or about 4-6 servings
1 clove garlic, minced
2 egg yolks
2 T fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 tsp Dijon
2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
A couple drops Worcestershire
3 T finely grated good Parmesan (I use a Food Processor)
Freshly cracked black pepper
In a small bowl, combine garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, and Dijon. Whisk to combine. Then, starting at just a drop at a time, add olive oil and vegetable oil gradually, whisking aggressively until thick, glossy, and slightly lighter in color (whisking for about 5 minutes total, maybe). Add in Worcestershire, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste, and whisk again. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use (use within 24 hours).