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Kale Caesar Salad with Quinoa and Pecans

Kale Caesar with Quinoa
Kale Caesar with QuinoaShutterstock
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins


Aromatic tricolor quinoa
  • 2 cups tricolor quinoa
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried chile
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 5 cups stock or water
  • Coarse sea salt
Caesar vinaigrette (makes about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 sprig tarragon, leaves only
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Just-right boiled eggs
  • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup aromatic tricolor quinoa (recipe above)
    • 2 cups mixed kale, finely chopped
    • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, halved and cut into slices
    • 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted
    • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup caesar vinaigrette (recipe above)
    • 1 just-right boiled egg (recipe above), peeled and halved lengthwise

    Chef notes

    I love this dish as a healthy lunch or dinner because it has the perfect balance of protein, carbs, fat and veggies. It takes a little prep ahead of time, so I like to do most of the heavy lifting the night before. This means cooking the quinoa and eggs in the evening, as well as preparing the vinaigrette. The next day, you can simply assemble the salad before bringing it to work for lunch or quickly throw it together for dinner at night.


    For the aromatic tricolor quinoa:


    Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer to a saucepan and add the bay leaf, chile, thyme, stock (or water) and a generous pinch of salt.


    Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a low, steady simmer. Cover and cook until cooked through and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and discard the bay leaf, chile and thyme.


    Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    For the Caesar vinaigrette:

    In a blender, combine the vinegar, garlic, anchovy, mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, tarragon, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and the Parmesan, if using. Puree until very smooth.

    With the machine running on a slow setting, add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream and blend until emulsified. Use immediately or transfer to a jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

    For the just-right boiled eggs:


    Fill a large bowl with 4 cups ice and 2 cups cold water. Bring 4 cups water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan.


    Use a large spoon to carefully add the eggs to the boiling water. Cook for 6½ minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, transfer the eggs to the ice water. Let the eggs cool completely.


    Carefully peel the eggs and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    For the salad:

    In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, kale, avocado, apple and pecans. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Add the vinaigrette and toss until everything is well coated. Top with the boiled egg and serve.

    Reprinted from Real Food Heals by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Seamus Mullen