Damn Good Kale Caesar
This salad is just so damn good, no other name seemed fitting. And I know, you've probably had a Caesar salad with kale before - it really isn't groundbreaking as a concept - but this is going to be the best one you have ever had. Well, assuming you're a good Italian lady like us who loves lots of garlic and Parmesan cheese.
The beauty in this salad is that you can make it in like five minutes and everyone who eats it will be like, "wow are you a real life Italian nona I love you I'm obsessed with you please scribble this recipe on the back of one of your handy note cards so I too can create this for my friends and family and pass on this legacy of delicious Kale Caesar salad" AND THEN you can simply exclaim "Molto bene!" which literally just means "very good" and doesn't really make sense in this context but if you've ever had an Italian grandmother you'd understand that sometimes things don't make sense and you just reply with a smile and hug.
And that, my friends, is free life lesson #2406
Our recommended pairing for this salad: our bolognese recipe, of course.
Recipe below - enjoy!
Kale Caesar Salad
serves 4 as a side, 2 as an entree
4 - 5 cloves garlic, peeled
GOOD salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 anchovies or 1/2 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil (more or less to desired consistency)
2 bunches of kale, chopped to desired size**
1/2 cup Parmesan flakes
Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and using a muddler (or potato smasher), pound the garlic until it's formed a paste. Some small remaining chunks are OK.
Add the anchovies or anchovy paste and egg yolk and muddle until it's all blended together. Whisk in the mustard and lemon juice - and whisk it well to combine.
Slowly whisk in the grated Parmesan to form a paste.
Finally, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking the entire time. If you want a thinner dressing, add extra oil a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Use tongs to toss half the kale into the dressing until fully coated. Add remaining kale and toss. Top with Parmesan flakes and croutons (if using) and enjoy!
Kale Stuff—We used lacinto kale (also called "dino kale") because we like the rough texture and strong, bitter earthy flavors. If you'd like something a bit milder, or if you're feeding a crowd that isn't as crazy about kale, go for curly kale or even baby kale -- it's a bit less bitter and will more easily be masked by the flavors of the dressing.
Quality—As with any recipe this simple, the real magic is in using high quality ingredients. Especially having great cheese, fresh and crisp kale, and fresh-cracked black pepper. The better the ingredients, the better the salad!
Croutons—to make our croutons, we cube half a baguette or really any crusty bread, toss it in enough olive oil to thoroughly coat it, sprinkle on salt, and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees, turning halfway through. Once they’re golden brown (maybe slightly charred in spots) they’re done!