A perfect storm of conditions prompted me to a kale version of the classic Caesar: a craving for a from-scratch Caesar, a dauntingly large crop of kale in the garden, and, I have a nice batch of freshly made croutons; it’s autumn, the season for dark greens, and finally, it’s über healthy.
Croutons, garlicky dressing, Parmesan and greens, in this case kale. Make the croutons ahead from days-old bread, whisk the dressing right into the bottom of the salad bowl if you wish, add plenty of kale, let it all sit and ‘adjust’ for a few minutes. Consume. Notice that your palate is satisfied and cells are doing a happy dance after all those . . . doughnuts? . . . burgers? . . . glasses of wine? Fill in the blank, we all have our delicious, decadent habits.
Kale Caesar Salad Recipe
Ingredients & Directions: Start with a large pile of kale – 6 – 8 cups makes 4 medium or two large servings – rinsed and spun dry/ Chop coarsely and refrigerate/ Pulse 1 1/2 C croutons in a blender to a coarse crumble, set aside/ Finely grate 1 C Parmesan cheese, set aside.
Make caesar salad dressing: Combine 2 very finely minced cloves of garlic with 1 – 3 anchovies (to taste)/ Mash garlic and anchovies together until they form a sort of paste and place in a small bowl/ Add 3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 egg yolk (if you are not comfortable using raw egg, skip it), 1/2 t dijon mustard/ Stir these ingredients together, and then, with whisk in hand, slowly drizzle in 1/2 – 2/3 C olive oil, whisking constantly until dressing begins to thicken and emulsify/ Taste/ Add another squeeze of lemon or more olive oil if needed/ Refrigerate if not using immediately.
To serve: Place kale in a large salad bowl, toss with 1/2 of the dressing, taste and add more dressing if desired/ Mix Parmesan and bread crumbs together and add all at once to the kale/ Add pepper to taste/ Toss again/ Ideally, let it sit for 5 minutes before serving/ The addition of avocado is delicious, or whatever else your heart desires.
Keep extra dressing in the fridge. This salad is still good the next day because of its hardy greens.