Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Piadines, sort of

piadines topped with kale caesar and grilled chicken

On May 25th, I pressed the “on” button on my food processor. I haven’t turned it off since. It’s just been going going going, churning out bowlfuls of the kitchn’s magical one-ingredient ice cream, batches of Bittman’s one-minute mayonnaise, and mason jars full of Darcy’s pesto.

The latest addition to the food processor’s regimen is caesar dressing, made in the same fashion as the Bittman mayonnaise, through the teeny hole of the food pusher insert. It works like a charm, and I’ve discovered that if I give the processor bowl a quick little rinsey rinse immediately after I’m finished using it, it’s as if I never dirtied it. Umpteen parts? No big deal. Back onto its base it goes; onto the next job it moves.

Anyway, I’m planning a dinner party and thought it might be fun to make little flatbreads — “piadines” I saw them called in a Michael Chiarello cookbook — piled high with caesar salad — boring, I know, but perhaps made interesting by kale — tossed with sliced grilled chicken breasts — boring, I know, but safe. I love this kind of thing, when bread and vegetable and meat are all wrapped up in one casual, fun, summery, light dish.

As you can see, I gave this idea a little test run, and while I still think it has potential, my piadines need a little bit of work. They puffed way up in the oven, almost like pita bread, making them better suited for falafel or chicken souvlaki. I’m looking for something thin thin, as my grandmother would say, and not too crisp but a little less imposing than what I made here. Despite the shape of the bread, however, the combo was delicious, and fortunately, I still have some time to experiment. In the meantime I might just run a few more things by you.

One last thing. If you’re looking for a rustic, summery dessert for one of your own get togethers, here’s something that might interest you: Stone Fruit Galettes with Homemade Frangipane. Make one dough (in the food processor), a batch of frangipane (also in the food processor), and assemble three tarts each perhaps with a different stone fruit. Plum is my favorite this year. Get the recipe over at Lifestyle Mirror:

stone fruit; peach galette

piadine topped with kale caesar salad with grilled chicken

Lahey no-knead pizza dough, risen

piadine dough balls

piadines ready for the oven

piadines in the oven

just-baked piadines

deflated piadines

uncooked chicken breasts seasoned with basil, salt and pepper

grilled chicken breasts

grilled chicken breasts

sliced grilled chicken breast


kale caesar with grilled chicken

kale caesar salad with grilled chicken

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Piadines:
Serves: As many as you like

Notes: As I mentioned above, my piadines are not quite there. They were delicious, just not flat. I used the Lahey No Knead Pizza Dough, which I adore, and which I think might work if I handle the dough a little more aggressively — next time I might even use a rolling pin to remove as many air pockets as possible.

What’s great about something like this for a party is that nearly everything can be prepared ahead of time: kale washed, cheese grated, dressing made, chicken grilled (though it is nice when the chicken is freshly grilled). And with everything prepped, the salad can be assembled in seconds while the flatbreads are baking.


Jim Lahey No Knead Pizza dough or your favorite pizza/flatbread/piadine dough portioned into 3-oz balls
kale, washed and torn into salad-sized pieces
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
caesar dressing (recipe below)
grilled chicken breasts (recipe for two below), sliced

to assemble:

1. Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Stretch or roll dough balls into 5-inch rounds. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly golden.

2. Meanwhile, place kale in a salad bowl with grated parmigiano and sliced grilled chicken breast. Toss with dressing to taste. Taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

3. Remove flatbreads from oven. Place one on each plate. Pile high with salad.

Food Processor Caesar Dressing:
Yield = 1.25 cups

3 cloves garlic
3 anchovies
pinch kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar*
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

*Lemon juice is obviously more traditional, but white balsamic has a nice flavor, and using vinegar is also easier than juicing lemons… forgive my laziness.

1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the anchovies, garlic and salt until finely puréed. Add the yolk and quarter cup of white balsamic. Pulse until blended. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. (Your food processor should have a teeny hole in the food pusher insert in the top). When an emulsion forms you can add it a little faster. (Again, the little hole makes this unnecessary.)

Grilled Chicken Breasts
Yield = 2 breasts; serves 4 when sliced for a salad

2 chicken breasts
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh herb of choice — I like basil
olive oil

1. Preheat the grill to high. Season chicken breasts all over with salt and pepper. Toss with the fresh herb. Rub lightly with oil. Grill for 2 to 2.5 minutes a side if breasts are smallish. Let rest for five minutes before slicing.


  1. says

    I fell for “piadine” after spending time in Arezzo where there was a shop selling them. When I came home I had to have them and I found a recipe on line. I make them in a cast iron pan and they do come out flat. The recipe calls for lard or olive oil and I’ve made them both ways. Yours look wonderful though.

  2. says

    I never really had piadine but the idea of having mini flat bread topped with grilled chicken and creamy salad is exciting enough for me to give it a go!

  3. says

    Um….can I come to this dinner party please?!?

    I’ve done a Chicken Caesar panini before that is delicious, so I definitely like where you’re going with the flat bread.

    And yes…isn’t the food processor the best for making this dressing?!

  4. says

    This looks like one of those dishes that I could eat (happily) every day. I love that you used kale instead of romaine. And your sort of piadines look gorgeous despite not turning out how you wanted. I once tried making pita bread and not all of them puffed up the way your flatbreads did… bread is so fickle sometimes.

  5. Elisabetta says


    la piada, or piadina, is a flat bread with no yeast at all! only water flour and lard (or olive oil if you want it lighter). in your picture I see bubbles…

  6. says

    You are so good at life and at food! Each of these elements is so beautifully done and expertly cooked, just lovely. I love your idea for this simple dinner party. Stealing it!!

  7. Katykat says

    So I made this salad dressing last weekend, using lemons because I had them… and it was DELICIOUS and PERFECT. I never thought I would enjoy eating kale raw, but this dressing was perfect with it. And Damien loved it, you rule!

  8. Hilke says

    Hi Alexandra
    Athough your piadines aren’t flat, I would love to make them. Do you have a recipe for them?
    Thank you!

  9. Julia says

    My local store only has Anchovy Paste. Would you know how much of that I should use in lieu of the whole sardines?

    I’m going to try this tonight, at least the grilled chicken part, with chives!

    • says

      Julia, sorry I’m just getting to this! I would start with a teaspoon, and then go from there. Since it’s in paste form, it will be easy to add more at the end. Hope it turned out well for you. Happy New Year!

  10. Karen says

    Alexandra, I’m sure you probably have already tried this, but I always use mayo in place of the olive oil, egg and lemon/ vinegar . I use the olive oil mayo, my preference and a tiny bit of lemon for zing. Since you’re making homemade mayo in the food processor anyway, no clean up!

    • says

      Karen, I’ve never tried this actually, so thanks for sending along the idea! Love a little lemon in a caesar dressing. And no clean up is key :)

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