Sometimes you just need a big ol’ pile of leafy greens packed with nutritional benefits to make you feel better. Usually, this is after a day packed full of big ol’ piles of nachos, fries, chips, cookies, brownies… well, you get the picture. No judgement here, it happens to the best of us.
So for days when you need a little something green or just feel like a salad, this is my favorite choice. I really like it because it’s a household and common favorite, Caesar, but changed up and recreated using Kale instead of Romaine for the lettuce. I like regular Caesars with Romaine too, but I love this one with Kale. I’ve pretty much been eating it non-stop the last two weeks.
If you aren’t all aboard the Kale train, that’s okay too (even though you’re missing out!). You can still make this using the traditional Romaine lettuce with this Caesar dressing recipe. Warning beforehand: this dressing contains anchovies. I know it freaks some people out to put them in salad dressing, but it really adds delicious flavor. But if you’d rather not, you can use Worcestershire sauce instead. I’m all about makin’ it work for people’s preferences.
I would encourage you to try the Kale and Anchovy version though. Although raw Kale tends to be on the bitter side, all it really needs is a little massage. Literally. Massaging Kale helps break it down and absorb the dressing, losing the bitterness. Plus, unlike regular Caesars using Romaine, which in my experience tend to get soggy if left sitting in the fridge, this salad actually improves, as the Kale only continues to absorb the rich and acidic flavor of this dressing. I like to make a big batch, put it in a tupperware in the fridge and toss it on my plate for a day or two of good salad eatin’.
My Kale Caesar also has homemade croutons, which you can make and then just store in an airtight container until you’re ready to put them on top of your salad. These croutons would be good for any salad you make and can pretty much be made with any bread you have and like the flavor of, plus it’s a really good way to use up bread that’s starting to go stale!
- 1 bunch of kale
- parmesan cheese
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- 2 tablespoons anchovies
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- FOR THE CROUTONS:
- 1 loaf bread
- olive oil
- Cut up bunch of Kale into bite size pieces, getting rid of stems. Add to bowl and massage Kale leaves.
- FOR THE DRESSING: In a bowl or cup, add red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, anchovies and minced garlic. Mix until incorporated, then add egg yolks and olive oil using an immersion blender to mix. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a whisk. Mix until dressing is thick and glossy. Once well mixed, add freshly grated parmesan and mix again.
- FOR THE CROUTONS: Tear up bread into crouton sized pieces. Lay on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. The nooks and crannies of the bread will help soak up the oil ensuring you get nicely baked croutons. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until done, tossing occasionally.
- Once dressing and croutons are made, add dressing to Kale, taking care to toss well and cover evenly. Grate fresh parmesan over salad, add croutons and serve.
*Tastes best when allowed to sit for at least ten minutes while the Kale soaks up the dressing. Also good refrigerated at this time.