I first became acquainted with the world of kale raw, in salads, at an awesome place called Sweetgreen. The Kale Caesar salad is nothing short of amazing- creamy Caesar dressing, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, Parmesan crisps, chopped tomatoes, chicken, and of course, kale. I could eat that salad any day! Leah and I recently recalled that we’d seen a delicious-looking kale Caesar salad on a blog a little while ago, so we decided to give it a try!
This salad, though different from the Sweetgreen one, is still great. The homemade dressing is very flavorful (however, you’ll probably want a breath mint afterwards, though that’s a small price to pay to get to enjoy the salad!), the kale is crisp and fresh, and the homemade croutons and freshly grated Parmesan round the salad out well. You could also top yours with chicken, tomatoes (when they are in season), or whatever else you’d like, but this salad is also just wonderful the way it is- a simple Caesar salad!
Kale Caesar Salad
Recipe from Annie’s Eats
Serves 2-3 generously, 4-5 as an appetizer
For the dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
3-4 anchovy fillets
2½ tablespoons mayonnaise
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated
For the salad:
1 bunch curly kale, about 8-12 ounces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Croutons (definitely worth the effort to make instead of buying them! They’re addictive!)
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
For the dressing:
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Blot any excess oil from the anchovies, then smash repeatedly with the tines of a fork or the back of a knife until a paste has formed. Add them to the olive oil-lemon juice mixture. Add the mayonnaise and whisk the dressing briskly until a smooth emulsion has formed. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper. Stir in the grated Parmesan. Taste to check seasonings.
Rinse and towel dry the kale leaves. Remove and discard the ribs from the leaves, and tear the curly green leaf portions into bite size pieces. Add the kale to a large salad bowl with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and toss briefly. Massage the kale leaves for a few minutes until the leaves have become shiny and turn a deeper green color, about 2-3 minutes (this will tenderize them since the leaves are not being cooked. I know it seems a little weird, but it works!). Add croutons to the salad. Drizzle about half of the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat. Taste and add additional dressing as needed. Top with remaining grated Parmesan and serve. Enjoy!