Garlicky Kale Avocado Salad With Homemade Croutons
Yum. Yum yum yum yum yum.
Salad. Kale salad. I love kale salad. Delicious kale salads, I love in specific. Like this one.
Crisp, fresh kale with a tangy, garlicky mayo dressing. And creamy, rich, cubed avocado. And crunchy, flavor-packed homemade croutons.
It’s a good one, this kale salad is. It’s one that I’ve been making for years. But it’s one that I never really considered posting, because I thought it might be too basic.
But then I remembered: Basic does not equal gross. Basic can very well equal delicious and addictive and a recurring staple. All things which this garlicky kale avocado salad is.
Here’s the thing: I can’t entirely enjoy eating a salad if it doesn’t have some sort of carby, fatty crunch added to it. Like nuts. Or seeds. Or crackers. Or chips. Or croutons!
Croutons are definitely my favorite add-in from the list above. And homemade croutons? Oooof. Carby, fatty salad toppings don’t get much better than homemade croutons.
Especially when those croutons are pretty much doused in olive oil. And tossed with a liberal mixture of spices. And baked until toasted, crispy, crunchy perfection.
And if those croutons make use of few-day-old bread that you would have otherwise had to trash, even better!!!
Here’s another thing: I enjoy an equal ratio of greens to croutons in my salads. Obviously, that’s a slightly excessive amount of croutons per kale capita. So I did scale back on the croutons just a bit with this kale avocado salad.
But know. Know that there’s still quite a generous amount of homemade croutons that this recipe will grace you with.
If you don’t want to make use of all the croutons in this kale salad, do with the remainders what you wish. Garnish a soup with the leftover croutons. Dip them into guacamole. Munch on them plain. The opportunities are endless.
Now, the dressing. We call this garlicky kale salad “kale Caesar salad” in my house. But it’s not technically a Caesar dressing. Because it don’t got no anchovies or Dijon mustard or other important Caesar dressing components.
What this dressing does have is mayo. And lots and lots of freshly minced garlic. And tangy vinegar. And a little sugar, to balance out all that strong garlic and vinegar. And salt, of course, because we can’t forget salt. Ever.
This mayo garlic dressing is simple and quick and addictive and will make your hands smell like garlic forever if you don’t wear gloves whilst making it. It also might just become your forever mayo dressing, a staple in your lifetime for years to come. Who knows? It is that good.
An announcement: You can also finish the salad off with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese if that’s your thing. Or omit it, if you want to keep this garlicky kale salad dairy-free.
The thing with this kale avocado salad and me is that I can eat the entire serving bowl without difficulty. I do get hit with the consequences later, when my stomach reminds me that it probably wasn’t the wisest idea to consume pounds of (raw) kale in one sitting. But anyway. WORTH IT!
Fresh, nutrient-packed kale. Creamy avocado chunks. A sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bountiful, crispy, tasty AF homemade croutons. All tossed in the easiest and most bestest garlicky, vinegary mayo dressing.
It’s a kale salad for the ages.
Garlicky Kale Avocado Salad with Homemade Croutons
Yield: 6-8 servings
6 slices/half loaf bread of choice (few day old is fine)
Generous olive oil, for drizzling (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika, and Italian Seasoning, to taste (I also like adding Za’atar and a little Cumin and Cayenne Pepper)
One very large bunch/bag Kale (7-8 cups)
1 avocado, cubed
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
2/3 cup mayonnaise
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cube the bread into desired size and toss with the olive oil and spices. Spread onto baking sheet in single layer. Bake until toasted and crispy, 10-15 minutes, tossing halfway through baking. Set aside to cool.
3. Rinse kale and then remove from stems and chop. If desired, massage kale with hands until it turns darker shade and is more wilted.
4. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, adjusting garlic and salt to taste.
5. Toss kale and cubed avocado with the dressing and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if desired) and homemade croutons. Serve.