kale + brussels sprout caesar slaw w/ pine nut “parm”

kale + brussels sprout caesar slaw w/ pine nut "parm" // www.thefirstmess.compin it!for a kale + brussels sprout caesar slaw w/ pine nut "parm" // www.thefirstmess.compin it!for vegan caesar dressing // www.thefirstmess.compin it!kale + brussels sprout caesar slaw w/ pine nut "parm" // www.thefirstmess.compin it!
I tend to not enjoy leafy/water-heavy salads so much this time of year. I might be acutely sensitive or just imagining things, but I just feel cold in that unshakeable damp way after I eat a big romaine salad or something similar in the winter. The same principle goes for smoothies, but I still have them often because some days are just a little too crazy to not blend-a-meal, you know? I don’t mind some more delicate greens here and there, like arugula or baby spinach, but I prefer them topped with warm roasted veg, some cooked grains, and a little heat-spice worked in if I can get it. I still almost always get my greens in though–either sautéed with chili and lemon, or roasted for crisp edges, very simply steamed, or sliced really thin with some other vegetables for a tangled-up slaw.

And obviously I know a slaw is technically a cold salad, but it just doesn’t feel as cold (basic science, really). The vegetables suited to this application generally have a lower water content, so that seems to help. But I also enjoy piling a slaw on top of some warm/roasted/sautéed foods often, so the cool aspect seems to fade out as things are inevitably mixed/lightly wilted in the bowl. It helps that I generally serve this kind of thing at room temperature too. To further my shaved salad-loving point here, I’ve been repeatedly making a winner of a kale slaw from Amy Chaplin’s book since I got it a few months ago. It has fennel, cabbage, a sweet + creamy mustard cider dressing, a few other bits. I always add a shaved apple or pear to it as well. It’s been my go-to for potlucks and other dinner occasions that need some green. Everyone loves it–I think people are more open to different veg if the cuts are small.

But this slaw here. It’s kind of a classic example of what I like to do with food when I’m cooking for peeps in real time: take a proven flavour profile, tuck in some sort of seasonal element, and re-package it in a way that is surprising but delicious. There’s a lot of kale caesar salads in blogland because a) KALE GUYS! + b) they really are delicious. Caesar dressing is intense, thick and fatty on the palette. A sturdier, more robust green than romaine is a natural pairing for when the days are cold and our bellies need just a little bit more. I wanted to make a slaw with all of those elements and even more cruciferous veggies. #foryourhealth!

So we have caesar slaw. With shaved brussels sprouts and cabbage too, for bonus shades of green and a bit more crunch from the cabbage. The dressing is sunflower seed-based because I appreciate how affordable it is. The seeds’ ability to get surprisingly creamy when soaked and blended up is pretty wild. There’s a touch of maple syrup in the dressing to evoke that sweetness from roasted garlic–because I was sort of in a hurry and maybe didn’t have time to roast a bulb, oopsy. I crisped up chickpeas in the oven with some bacon-suggestive ingredients like smoked paprika and tamari. After a quick roast, the peas even have a chewy and meaty texture–just perfect for this. The pine nut “parm” is what makes this all heart-eyes-emoji for me though. I mix the nuts with sesame seeds mostly out of concern for texture. The pine nuts are buttery and the sesames lighten up the mix once it gets pulsed. Then there’s that vegan saviour–nutritional yeast–getting in there to make things cheesy, and some lemon zest to brighten and round it all out. It’s the best iteration of plant-parm I’ve ever had, that’s for sure.

Gonna close by keeping it light, breezy, and green today. I finally get my upper kitchen shelves installed this week, and nothing in the world can bring me down from that. Shelfies are in my future! ;) Big hugs, all. xo

pine nut + sesame "parm" // via @thefirstmesspin it!kale + brussels sprout caesar slaw w/ pine nut "parm" // www.thefirstmess.compin it!kale + brussels sprout caesar slaw w/ pine nut "parm" // www.thefirstmess.compin it!
kale + brussels sprout caesar slaw w/ pine nut “parm” + smoky chickpeas recipe
print the recipe here!
serves: 6-8
notes: There will be extra dressing, but I’m sure you could find some creative ways to use it up. It totally holds up as a great veggie dip. Also, if you love that super creamy, almost fatty kind of texture in a creamy dressing, feel free to use soaked raw cashews in place of the sunflower seeds.

dressing ingredients:
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp tamari soy sauce
2 tsp tahini
1 tsp dijon mustard
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
salt + pepper
1/4 cup water + extra

pine nut “parm” ingredients:
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt + pepper

smoky chickpeas ingredients:
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp maple syrup
salt + pepper

salad ingredients:
2 bunches lacinato/dino kale, (I used the ribs and all)
1/2 lb brussels sprouts
1/4 head of green cabbage

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Drain the sunflower seeds and place them in an upright blender. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tamari, tahini, dijon, garlic, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of water. Blend on high until you have a smooth mixture. Slowly add more water by the teaspoon until you have a dressing that will run off the back of a spoon. Scrape the dressing into a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pine nut “parm”, in a food processor or dry ingredient-friendly blender pitcher, combine the pine nuts, sesame seeds, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend/Pulse until you have a crumbly mixture. Check it for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Set aside.

Towel dry the cooked chickpeas and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the smoked paprika, tamari, maple syrup, salt, and pepper over top. Toss chickpeas lightly to coat and slide the tray into the oven. Roast chickpeas until slightly crispy, about 20 minutes, making sure to stir them around once or twice. Set aside.

While chickpeas are roasting, slice kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage into slaw-appropriate shreds. I knifed the kale and mandolin-sliced the brussels sprouts and cabbage. Place all veggie shreds in a large bowl and toss with about half of the caesar dressing, a little extra lemon juice, some salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the pine nut “parm” and smoky chickpeas on top to finish and serve immediately.

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  • Kathryn14/01/2015 - 7:37 am

    Yes! Absolutely with you on the need for a little warmth at this time of year but still wanting to find ways to get enough of those leafy greens into my body. This sounds like the prefect compromise + that pine nut “parm” is totally inspired.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar14/01/2015 - 8:41 am

    Such a stunning salad!! Craving every piece of this!ReplyCancel

  • lynsey | lynseylovesfood14/01/2015 - 8:43 am

    Heart-eyes emoji indeed! xoReplyCancel

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness14/01/2015 - 8:56 am

    This is dang prettiest slaw that I ever did see!! I love that you used so much different greenery and a little cabbage for the crunch!
    Seriously though. Still oogling these photos!
    Pinned :)ReplyCancel

  • valentina | sweet kabocha14/01/2015 - 9:03 am

    I’va just eaten a lacinato kale salad :) I usually massage it with lemon juice, a pinch of salt and flaxseed oil..
    Btw : I totally agree with you about salads in winter and I will try your recipe for parmesan – I make mine with cashews, wheat germ, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt ^_^
    xoReplyCancel

  • Grace14/01/2015 - 9:39 am

    Cruciferous slaw for the win! The ultimate winter salad right here – everything my body/tastebuds needs/want. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey14/01/2015 - 10:32 am

    Yes, girl! Salads with bits of warmth and heart dressings/sauces is totally the way to go this time of year! Love how you found such a lovely balance between pine nuts + sesame seeds for your parm, and lemon zest mixed in there sounds so so good! (can’t wait to make it!) And I meant to tell you last week, your new gal sounds like an absolute gem! We’re celebrating a year with our little guy soon, and it’s been the absolute best having him around, so I can just imagine the feelings you’re basking in! xo!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan14/01/2015 - 10:37 am

    That parm! (heart eye emojis times 100!) Also, that dressing looks beyond amazing and I could get down with this salad in the winter. There is something about salads with lots of toppings and creamy dressing that makes them feel juuuust a bit hearty, ya dig?ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well14/01/2015 - 10:38 am

    Goodness these photos are gorgeous. And Scott is going to be ECSTATIC about this recipe, caesar salads are his fave. Thanks for the awesome creativity and spruce you gave an otherwise typically boring recipe to me! I love all the ingredients, especially those sunflower seeds. And congrats on getting shelves! Woot woot!ReplyCancel

  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen14/01/2015 - 11:28 am

    Ceasar slaw? Damn, girl! I actually think that it’s hard to find a really good Ceasar salad as they’re often too heavy with dressing that doesn’t even taste that good. So normally I’m quite careful with where I order one. This slaw, however, looks heavenly! What a comforting, good-to-you winter salad. I’ve never eaten nutritional yeast; maybe I should give it a try? Or I use parmesan instead. Anyway, I love this. I seriously do, Laura.

    Hope you have a great week,
    SiniReplyCancel

  • Brian @ Kitchen Domination14/01/2015 - 12:21 pm

    This slaw looks like something I need to get into, particularly if I want to improve my veg game this year. Do you think that substituting ground up raw cashews for the nutritional yeast would work?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright14/01/2015 - 12:23 pm

      Hi Brian, the nutritional yeast has a really distinctive, cheesy, well-rounded flavour that I don’t think can be replicated by anything other than real-deal cheese. If you can’t get a hold of some nutritional yeast, you might have better luck replacing the it with some chopped up olives instead.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Caitlin14/01/2015 - 12:43 pm

    i love the way you write about food. this salad looks fabulous. i completely agree with you on salads this time of year. they just don’t fill the warmth that soups, stews, and roasted veggies do.ReplyCancel

  • erin {yummy supper}14/01/2015 - 12:57 pm

    Oh my Laura, of course I’m always drawn in by your photos, and today once I read your description of this tasty ceasar/slaw action and I found myself drooling. Seriously lady. Drooling.
    xoxox to you,
    EReplyCancel

  • Sarah from Soymilk + Honey14/01/2015 - 1:21 pm

    This looks fantastic! Yes please to anything with kale and brussels sprouts. Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • dana14/01/2015 - 2:37 pm

    Major DROOL! WANT WANT WANT!ReplyCancel

  • sarah b.14/01/2015 - 2:47 pm

    First time I ever had a kale caesar was at a fun little spot in nyc back in the day, it had roasted chickpeas like this and it was such a memorable one. You are a salad goddess Laura! This looks SO delicious, super inspired to use up my big bag of costco pine nuts now, seriously! Loving that first shot too. Cheers babe!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi14/01/2015 - 4:01 pm

    I don’t think there is ever such a thing as too many vegan kale ceasar recipes! And girl, yours looks absolutely divine! Gorgeous as always xxReplyCancel

  • Deryn @ Running on Real Food14/01/2015 - 4:40 pm

    Wow, that is one beautiful, stunning salad! It’s going on my must-make-very-soon list! Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • […] pizza with, oh i dunno, butternut squash ribbons and arugula-pepita pesto with a sprinkle of this brilliant plant parm made from pine nuts and sesame […]ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Griffith14/01/2015 - 10:39 pm

    Your photos are so beautiful! Do you use lightroom or photoshop to edit your photos?

    JennyReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright15/01/2015 - 8:53 am

      Hi Jenny, I use Lightroom mostly. And I’ll add that I have VSCO film installed into Lightroom and play around with that quite a bit too. Thanks! :)
      -LReplyCancel

  • Jessica DeMarra15/01/2015 - 10:12 am

    Love this dish, from the salad to the bowl itself. Sometimes to eat a huge bowl of raw veggies in the dead of winter, you just need a really good dressing and I think this one sounds wonderful. I am jealous of all your beautiful sunlight photos. If I were to take a shot like these the photo would just be bright orange (I am on the sunset side of my building). Just all so lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Heather15/01/2015 - 11:38 am

    Laura, I got so excited about this I changed up the salad I was bringing over to a friend’s house last night to make this! (well, just the parm and dressing because I already had a mega-pack of baby greens in the fridge). I scaled back the number of garlic cloves to 1 large one because I’m sensitive to raw garlic, and used a heaping tablespoon of sesame seeds because somehow (gasp!) I was out of tahini. This may be the only caesar dressing I eat for the rest of my life. Everyone at my friends’ house loved it so much they were mad I didn’t make a bigger salad. I can’t wait to make the full blown recipe for my man this weekend :) Thanks for sharing your talents with the world!ReplyCancel

  • The VegHog15/01/2015 - 12:49 pm

    This is a very good and healthy looking dish, a salad after my own heart.

    the-veghog.blogspot.co.ukReplyCancel

  • […] fresh: Kale + Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw w/ Pine Nut “Parm”. I had a kale caesar salad at a neat restaurant over a year ago and I still think about it […]ReplyCancel

  • Yoanna16/01/2015 - 6:04 am

    Lovely!
    ReplyCancel

  • Millie l Add A Little16/01/2015 - 12:03 pm

    This looks so amazing!! I love how hearty and delicious this looks Laura!ReplyCancel

  • […] kale and brussels sprouts caesar. umm […]ReplyCancel

  • kristie {birch and wild}17/01/2015 - 11:51 am

    The photos drew me in, the ingredients made me super interested in making this salad right now. Damn, you always make me want to up my game.ReplyCancel

  • Anna17/01/2015 - 3:13 pm

    OMG these pictures are to die for!! Now I’m hungry!! Can’t wait to try it at home!! :)
    xx

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/ReplyCancel

  • […] caesar with roasted chickpeas (fave) for lunch sounds like a […]ReplyCancel

  • All I have to say is YUM!! I don’t like a lot of cold salad much in the winter either, but this looks just delicious.ReplyCancel

  • […] dressing, and a vegan caesar salad are all excellent for the days coming off of that fast (this Kale & Brussels Caesar Slaw is freaking delicious by the […]ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey @ hart & garnet19/01/2015 - 7:46 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! All winter long I keep churning out “a warm salad”, or something tossed in “a warm vinaigrette” not realizing how much I’m avoiding the New York chill. I can’t even handle cold condiments these days, put everything at room temperature! My bones are chilly! Great recipe, especially the chickpeas!ReplyCancel

  • cynthia21/01/2015 - 1:12 pm

    Dude. YES. You’ve just put what I couldn’t articulate into words — it’s the water content! Water-heavy salads just feel so not-right this time of year. There’s something so much more satisfying about hefty, toothsome kale and collards these days. This slaw looks a-mazing — I can just imagine the satisfying crunch and the creaminess of it all. Totally perfect.ReplyCancel

  • elanan23/01/2015 - 1:35 am

    This is on my must-make list this weekend! Wondering how long the dressing would hold up for if refrigerated, having a batch on hand would make week night salads so much more appealing!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright23/01/2015 - 8:11 am

      Hi Elenan, I kept my dressing in the fridge for about 4 days. I had it in a tupperware and put a layer of saran wrap directly onto the surface of the dressing before I put the lid on the container. This was just an extra cautionary kind of move against any skin forming on the surface.
      -LReplyCancel

  • thefolia25/01/2015 - 1:01 pm

    Beautifully described, magnificently captured…happy feasting!ReplyCancel

  • 10 Kale Salad Recipes30/01/2015 - 4:03 pm

    […] Kale + Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw with Pine Nut “Parm” {Gluten-Free, Vegan} […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Speaking of Laura Messy, did you see her recipe for this kale & brussels sprout caesar slaw with pine nut parm on The First Mess? Better yet, have you made it yet?! Run to your […]ReplyCancel

  • David01/02/2015 - 9:29 am

    Wonderful blogReplyCancel

  • […] the kale pesto – a known love in our home. And ever since I saw Laura’s recipe for pine nut parmesan a few weeks back I had been dying to make it and it is downright magical. Throw some dried oregano […]ReplyCancel

  • […] dinner though, I’ll be doing a light olive oil-based sauce with cooked vegetables, chickpeas, pine nut parm, greens etc., just to make it more special (is it normal to feel guilty if a dinner doesn’t […]ReplyCancel

  • […] serve, sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese, herbs of choice, and serve with Sriracha aioli or preferred dipping sauce. These would also […]ReplyCancel

  • Anna01/03/2015 - 9:31 pm

    Hi Laura, This was absolutely delicious!! I subbed the garbanzos for polenta croutons which were out of this world. The vegan cheesiness game is strong here–amazing flavors. What a treat. This definitely gets saved for a remake! Thanks :) AnnaReplyCancel

  • […] reinvent the wheel here with this vegan parm. I was inspired by this classic recipe + this zesty little guy too. But with the addition of the fresh herbs + a wee bit olive oil things got pretty […]ReplyCancel

  • […] all effing vegan despite the fact that it very clearly states that on the home page. I made these two both this week and: yup. […]ReplyCancel

  • Jenny25/03/2015 - 4:25 pm

    Hi Laura –
    Just made the dressing and pine nut crumble for a party this weekend. I was wondering how you store the crumble?
    Thanks!
    JennyReplyCancel

    • Laura26/03/2015 - 8:52 am

      Hi Jenny, I just place the pine nut parm in a tupperware and refrigerate it if I have some leftover or I’m prepping it in advance.
      -LReplyCancel

  • […] This Caesar slaw recipe is a smart mix of ingredients. It has very distinct combination of flavors and it is quite easy to make. So the next time you want a nutritious bowl of slaw, try this you won;t regret it. The recipe is over here. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] slightly adapted from here […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full23/06/2015 - 3:55 pm

    #ForYourHealth – Dr. Steve Brule ;)ReplyCancel

  • Friday Fun | Julie's Jazz24/07/2015 - 6:19 pm

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  • […] Kale + Brussels sprouts caesar slaw with pine nut parm. I bought some of the ingredients to make this salad last winter and somehow just got around to it. I can’t say that the pine nut mixture truly tasted like parm, but I can say that it was a nutty, buttery, lemony salad topping that I would like to make again and again. The crunchy chickpeas were a nice contrast to the dressing and greens. […]ReplyCancel

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  • […] nicely. Grilled peaches and corn contribute perfect little pockets of juice and sweetness here, and Laura’s pine nut parm is optional but very addictive. This Caesar is also easily adaptable to other seasons – […]ReplyCancel

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