Grilled California Avocado Kale Caesar Salad

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Total Time: 45 min

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Here ripe sustainably farmed California Avocados are used in two ways: First, as the base of a Caesar-style dressing. Anchovies are a key ingredient in a traditional Caesar dressing, but optional here to suit your taste. Second, show-stopping wedges of ripe avocado are grilled on the cut sides to place over a salad of shredded kale and shaved parmesan cheese, along with toasted pepitas sprinkled over top. It makes a fabulous first course when entertaining, but also a complete meal for lunch or a simple yet satisfying supper.

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Dressing: 1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup water 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 large cloves garlic, chopped 2 flat anchovies* 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste Salad: 1 bunch Italian lacinato kale (about 8 oz. in a bunch), stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick shreds 1 small head radicchio(about 8 oz. for a small head), halved, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick shreds 1 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 1 cup toasted pepitas 1 1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into wedges


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and puree until thick and creamy. If the dressing is too thick, thin it with a little more water.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded kale, half of the shaved cheese, and half of the pepitas. Toss with about 2/3 of the dressing to nicely coat the ingredients, reserving the rest for another use.
  2. Divide the salad among 4 shallow bowls and set aside for the kale to soak up the flavors while you grill the avocados.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium heat until smoking. Grill the avocado wedges until dark grill marks form on the two cut sides, turning once, about 1 minute per side.
  4. Sprinkle the salads with the remaining shaved cheese and pepitas. Arrange warm grilled avocado wedges on top of each salad, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve.

Variations: Delicious topped with grilled chicken too.

Suggestion: Serve the whole recipe family style on a decorative plate or platter.

Beverage Pairing: Pinot Grigio or sparkling wine

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Editor's Note

*You may use anchovy paste in place of  flat anchovies if desired. The equivalent of 2 flat anchovies is 1 ½ tsp. anchovy paste.

Did You Know?

It’s actually easy to create an avocado rose. If you want to elevate the presentation of a meal, just add a beautiful avocado rose. Or you could add one of these delicious California Avocado side dish recipes.

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados

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