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Kale Caesar with Goat Gouda, Avocados and Homemade Croutons


A few weeks ago I was invited to the opening of Messhall in Los Angeles to partake in an amazing media dinner. I was stuffed with steak tartare tacos, lobster mac n cheese, incredibly memorably cheese grits, the best pork chop of my life and a kale caesar salad I can’t stop thinking about. I was fortunate enough to accompany the incredibly dashing Greg Henry of Sippity Sup, sit with a small group of food writers, publicists, bloggers and magazine editors on the patio of the iconic space that once housed The Brown Derby. a Los Angeles landmark turned into the hip new Mess Hall with a summer camp chic vibe and a menu that is both familiar and vibrantly new.

Although all the food was memorable (how can I forget corn on the cob with smoked tomato butter?), there was something about that salad that I couldn’t stop thinking about. The simplicity and perfectly balanced flavors, how the kale was such an improvement over Romaine, how had I never thought of this?

Even weeks later, when a waiter at a different Los Angeles restaurant attempted to talk me into ordering the kale salad at his place, I had to mention to him the perfection of Mess Hall salad.

So here is my version, a Kale Caesar with Goat Gouda, Avocados and Homemade Croutons. But if you’re in Los Angeles, stop by Messhall for the real thing.

Kale Caesar with Goat Gouda, Avocados and Homemade Croutons


  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups dry crusty bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 head of kale, chopped into thin ribbon
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated goat gouda


  1. In a food processor, add the egg, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, red pepper, mustard, anchovy, black pepper and parmesan. Allow to process until frothy. Add the oil to a microwave safe bowl, microwave for 1 minute or until very hot and steamy. While the food processor is running, very, very slowly add the oil and continue to process until dressing has emulsified, about 3 minutes. Place the dressing in a container with a lid and refrigerator until chilled, about 1 hour (can be made up to 3 days ahead of time).
  2. If the bread you are using for croutons is fresh, place on a baking sheet and dry out in a 250 oven for 10 minutes.
  3. In a skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the prepared bread cubes and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, add the kale, tomato and avocado. Add the dressing and toss to coat, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with goat gouda and croutons.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 (I was provided with a delicious free dinner & cocktails from Messhall,  

however I was not monetarily compensated for this review.

All ideas and opinions are my own.)

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Cassie October 3, 2012 um 10:59 am

Amazing! I love a homemade Caesar salad and the kale here gives it a great kick, I love kale!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 4, 2012 um 9:49 am

Love, love, love this version! And I’m a huge caesar fan so this salad is just screaming my name!


Ashley – Baker by Nature October 4, 2012 um 9:56 am

I love kale in salads: this is gorgeous!


Bree October 4, 2012 um 12:17 pm

How creative-I love it!


Maggie October 4, 2012 um 2:56 pm

I have to admit that I just tried Kale and my hubby and I both liked it! We will try this for sure. I was wondering what else to do with it.


sippitysup October 4, 2012 um 3:10 pm

Gorgeous and delicious, I can attest! GREG


Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity laments the end of summer October 5, 2012 um 12:03 am

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Jen @ Savory Simple October 5, 2012 um 6:43 am

I love everything about this salad! So many favorites.


Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies October 5, 2012 um 3:14 pm

I had my first kale salad about a month ago and it was so good. I’m not a big fan of salad greens so this was totally a revelation to me.


Bellenza Bistro November 3, 2012 um 3:44 am

Would love a dish of that right now! Looks so deliciously healthy. 🙂


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