I'm always collecting cooking inspiration wherever I go, so I keep a list on my cell phone of recipe ideas. There's probably was probably 100+ recipe ideas saved until I updated my cell phone and lost them all! Thankfully I whipped up this spring Caesar salad with za'atar croutons before the upgrade. It was a salad on saw on the menu at Sweetgreen years ago, and knew I had to recreate it at home.
The za'atar breadcrumbs definitely make the salad. I made fresh ones using torn ciabatta fried in olive oil and dusted with the Middle Eastern spice mix. You could purchase it premixed, or just whisk some up with a mix of sumac, thyme and sesame seeds. There's also the roasted chickpeas to add crunch and filling protein. Feel free to swap storebought roasted chickpeas snacks to save time!
I also love that this salad has a mix of cooked and raw vegetables. The cucumbers are crisp and fresh, radishes add peppery flavor to go along with the arugula, and the sauteed asparagus adds a slightly sweet flavor.
Spring Caesar Salad with Za'atar Croutons
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups of torn ciabatta
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oi
- Mixed greens or arugula
- 4 radishes, sliced
- 2 small cucumbers
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
- Caesar dressing
- First, make the chickpeas. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, cumin and season with salt and black pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool
- Next, make the croutons. Whisk together the spices and salt. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add torn ciabatta and fry, stirring frequently, until bread is toasted and crispy. Stir in za'atar mix and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant, then set side until ready to assemble salad.
- To saute the asparagus, heat teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add asparagus and saute until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble salad, toss together greens, cucumber, radish, asparagus, chickpeas and croutons. Toss with Caesar dressing. Divide between four plates, top with hard boiled egg and serve.
More spring salads: