Dig Inn Cashew Kale Caesar Copycat Recipe
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
I’ve recently become slightly obsessed with the Cashew Kale Caesar from Dig Inn. The greens are tender, the cashews are spicy and crunchy, and the dressing is borderline addictive. Every time I go in I debate ordering an entire bowl of just the salad because it’s that good. But since each trip costs me about $14, it was time for your girl to figure out how to make this herself.
Although the healthy dishes we eat at restaurants seem virtually impossible to replicate at home, this one is surprisingly easy. The most daunting, and important, ingredient here is the cashew cream, but not to worry, it isn’t nearly as intimidating as it sounds. A few minutes in a high-speed blender transform cashews and water into a creamy dairy alternative you can use in other recipes besides this Caesar. (Note: The cashew cream recipe yields more than needed for the dressing. See cashew cream’s other uses, or freeze the rest for a later use.)
The cream is blended with ingredients like soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and dijon mustard to give the dressing the umami-ness found in traditional Caesar. WARNING: This dressing is insanely good. You will lick it off every surface it touches and try to eat it with anything possible (i.e., popcorn, plantain chips, the bowl, you name it). I would’ve licked the inside of my blender clean if I could...
Moving on to the kale. Fun fact time! Did you know, up until 2012 the majority of kale purchased was by caterers to garnish displays? No one was actually eating it. True story. Anywho… This trendy leafy green is very sturdy and needs to be tenderized before eating, unless you want your jaw to get a SoulCycle-caliber workout from so much chewing. A quick massage with lemon and olive oil will transform tough kale into tender greens. I know, it sounds weird as hell, but trust me, it will change everything. Think of it like foreplay, a few minutes of prep will make a world of difference. I promise you’ll be a changed human once you try this, and massaging your greens.
A salad can quickly become very one-dimensional and boring if you’re not careful, but that’s where the cashews come in. A toss in some spices and a trip to the oven make these cashews a crunchy and spicy surprise amidst the sea of leafy greens and rich Caesar dressing. They’re easy to make and double as both an excellent salad topping and an addicting snack.
Throw all these elements together and you’ll find what I’ve been eating for the past three days, and I see no signs of that changing. It’s healthy (if you don’t go too crazy with the dressing), easy to pull together, can be eaten solo as the main event or chill in the background of a grain bowl, and is actually something I want to eat. You can officially call me addicted.
3½ cups cashews, raw
1¾ cup water
1. Soak the cashews in water and let sit in the fridge for at least 8 hours before making, or overnight. Drain and rinse before blending.
2. Pour water and cashews into the blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
Spicy Roasted Cashews
2 cups cashews, raw
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cayenne
1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and toss to evenly coat nuts with spice mixture. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread cashews evenly onto tray.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, tossing occasionally. Allow nuts to cool before adding to salad.
Cashew Kale Caesar
1 cup cashew cream
1 lemon, zested
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
5 cups kale, washed and de-stemmed
½ cup spicy roasted cashews
1 dash smoked paprika
1 avocado, sliced
1 salmon filet, seared (optional)
1. Combine cashew cream, lemon, olive oil, mustard, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in blender and blend until incorporated and smooth. Adjust flavor to taste.
2. Put kale in a large bowl and lightly drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Massage the greens for a few minutes until they become tender.
3. Pour desired amount of dressing onto kale and toss to combine. Add roasted cashews, avocado, salmon (if using), and dash of smoked paprika to finish.