Your New Go-To Side: Kale Caesar Salad

It was at a small gourmet marketplace near me that I first discovered the kale Caesar salad. I was dubious about it at first- while I love kale, I've typically found Caesar salad to be heavy and soggy. Despite my reservations, I tried it and was promptly addicted- the kale leaves are sturdy enough to hold up to the dressing, and their bitterness provide a beautiful counterpoint to the dressing's creaminess. Soon enough, I was making any excuse to head over to said marketplace, much to the chagrin of my wallet. I finally decided to try to replicate the salad for myself. I'm super satisfied with the results and hope you are too.

kale Caesar salad


For salad:
Approximately 20 oz. curly kale, washed, patted dry, and tough stems removed
Croutons (you can make your own, I'm lazy so I buy them)
hunk of good Parmesano Reggiano cheese

For dressing (adapted from ):
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4-5 anchovy fillets
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)

Note: Martha's recipe calls for salt- my experience is that the anchovies and Parmesan make the salad salty enough without the added salt, but I would recommend making the dressing and adjusting it to your taste. I also added an extra teaspoon of lemon juice since I like a lot of acid in my salad dressings. Again, I would tinker with the proportions to your liking. 

Caesar dressing ingredients


Dump all dressing ingredients except the olive oil into a powerful blender.  Blend until a puree forms. Continue to blend with the motor on low and drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Taste the dressing on a piece of kale and add more olive oil if the flavors are too intense. If adding more olive oil, blend again to re-emulsify.

Place the well-dried kale in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing in stages, tossing until the leaves are well coated but not overdressed (you may not need all the dressing). Add the croutons and, using a vegetable peeler, create thin curls of Peccorino Romano to top the salad. Enjoy!