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Backyard Blogging.

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Traeger takes everyone’s favorite salad and makes it even better with homemade, wood-fired croutons and grilled kale in this healthier Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons.


2 heads of red or green kale, leaves washed and towel dried
Extra-virgin olive oil (as needed)
Salt to taste
2 heads romaine, sliced in half lengthwise with core kept intact
2 whole lemons, halved
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste, optional
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups cubed country bread, preferably a day old
1/4 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 to taste freshly ground black pepper


When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 300℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.

Place whole kale leaves in a large salad bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss until the leaves are coated evenly.

Place the kale on a baking sheet and place on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale is slightly wilted.

Remove kale from the grill, allow it to cool and strip the leaves off of the stems. Coarsely chop the kale and place in a large salad bowl.

Brush the halved heads of romaine with a tablespoon of olive oil on the cut sides, then sprinkle with salt.

Place the romaine cut side down directly on the grill grates and cook for 10 minutes.

At the same time, place the lemon halves cut side down and allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until juicy and slightly charred.

Remove the lettuce and lemons from grill and allow to cool. Coarsely chop the lettuce and add it to the kale. Juice the lemons, they should yield at least 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

Increase the Traeger temperature to 350℉ and preheat, lid closed.

For the Dressing: Combine the minced garlic with the Dijon mustard and anchovy paste (if using) and whisk to combine. Whisk in 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Taste, adding salt and freshly ground pepper.

For the Croutons: Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, then drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over the bread. Toss the bread cubes in the oil until they are well coated. If necessary, add a few more tablespoons of oil so they are very well coated.

Spread the bread cubes out evenly on a baking sheet. Place on the grill and cook, stirring once, until the croutons are crispy and browned, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the pan and let dry on paper towels.

To serve, drizzle half of the dressing over the lettuce, add the croutons and 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Toss to coat, adding more dressing until you reach the desired consistency.

Finish with a freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Recipe and photo from Traeger.