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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Best Kale Caesar Salad You'll Ever Have

Kale is a superfood. Kale is on every restaurant menu. According to a recent New York Times article, kale is hot in New York social circles. (Although this Onion headline made me laugh out loud.) Are you a fan? It's delicious and feels so healthy. Phoebe of Feed Me Phoebe has a killer recipe for a kale caesar salad. Who's in? Here's how to whip one up...
The Best Kale Salad You'll Ever Have
By Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe

Most people can agree that comfort food doesn’t usually involve lettuce. But if you top lettuce with creamy dressing and a large handful of Parmesan, that’s another story entirely. I crave this Caesar salad as much as fried chicken, and with a few tweaks here and there, it’s healthier than the classic versions you’re used to, in addition to being absolutely delicious.

What makes this kale Caesar both healthier and tastier than any you’ve ever eaten is the dressing. There’s no egg and not much cheese—instead, it gets its creamy Caesar-like texture from a whole head of roasted garlic, which acts as an emulsifier, thickener, and general yumminess-inducer. It gets its funky, punchy Caesar flavor from the capers, anchovies and Dijon. Dig in!

Recipe: Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing
Makes 4 side servings

You'll need:
1 bunch dinosaur or lacinato kale
1/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs or croutons
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling over salad
1/2 cup roasted garlic Caesar dressing (recipe follows—this salad would also taste great with Bagna Cauda Vinaigrette or Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette)

What to do:

Remove the thick stalks from the center of the kale. Pile the leaves on top of one another and roll together into a cigar. Cut the kale into thin ribbons.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the breadcrumbs together with the olive oil in a small mixing bowl and spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale together with the dressing. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss again. Divide among four plates, and top with the breadcrumbs, plus a bit more cheese, if you'd like.

For the Roasted Garlic Caesar Dressing (makes about 3/4 cup):
1 head garlic
Olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp. capers
2 anchovy filets
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Remove the outer layers from the head of garlic so the individual cloves are exposed. Chop off the top 1/4 inch of the head so you can see the raw cloves within their skins.

Place on a 9x13 sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap so the packet is tightly sealed. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft to the touch. Remove from the foil packet and allow to cool.

When cool enough to touch, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and add to a food processor. Puree the garlic along with the lemon juice, mustard, salt, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Taste and add more oil as necessary to reach the consistency you like. (This should be a thick dressing, with a punch of acidity.) Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Yum! Thank you, Phoebe!

P.S. More best recipes, including crunchy roast potatoes and avocado salad.

(Photos and recipe by Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)


Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Hail Kale Caesar! Looks delish!

Grandbabycakes said...

This salad looks incredible. I am a big fan of kale so I must try this!

Katie + Courtney said...

Looks amazing! I just posted about kale a few days ago- looks like it's back in full force for the summer:)

The Hunter-Gatherers

quinncooper said...

This looks delicious! Love that the dressing doesn't have mayonaise or egg.
I'll definitely be trying this in the summer!
It is true that so many restaurants in NYC have a kale salad, and most of them are really good.
Thanks for sharing.
xo Quinn

Quinn Cooper Style

Jesse said...

this looks perfect for summer. we're off to too many bbqs this weekend and this will be the best side dish to share:)

heykay said...

"But if you top lettuce with creamy dressing and a large handful of Parmesan..." literally made my mouth water...

Jordan Shaner said...

Yum! This looks so good, I love kale!


Leslie @ And Then The Doorbell Rang said...

This looks fantastic! When do you add the anchovies? Did I miss something?

Rosie said...

Gosh, that sounds incredible! My Grandma used to tell me about how when she was little her Mum used to cook kale, and then give all the children little cups of kale cooking water to drink with a dash of vinegar! She knew it was a superfood, even 75 odd years ago! :)

carolyn said...

Yum! I'm totally on the kale bandwagon. Though this tweet also made me laugh :)

Michelle Panting said...

Love kale! Thanks for sharing a twist on an old classic! said...

I loooove love love Caesar salad and this dressing is a nice light take on my calorie-laden mayo version. Thanks!

Amanda Frederickson said...

I am totally on the kale train - I love it. Smitten Kitchen also has a great kale salad with goat cheese, pecans and dried cherries.

Ladies in Navy said...

yum! this looks delicious! i should try this
kw, ladies in navy
jewelry giveaway!

Meadow said...

On the fence about the kale, but I might have to try making that dressing - yum!

Molly said...

They served kale at my college's lunchroom. They didn't do anything to it though and it just tasted like grass. I know it's great for you though, and there are ways to make it taste great! I'll have to try out this recipe.

I just started my own blog!

xo Molly

Amanda Perry said...

Can't wait to try this recipe, I had a kale caesar with gluten free croutons at a restaurant the other day and it was just delish! Thank you for sharing :)

Heather said...

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that Kale is all the rage here in Oregon. Let's be honest. By itself, it's terrible. But mixed in with other things? Yum!

I usually blend kale into some kind of smoothie (my current favorite is kale, strawberry, and beet).

Thanks for the recipe!

thejunkdrunk said...

One of the best tips I've seen for using regular kale in a salad is to cut it into thin strips, add your dressing to marinade for about 30 minutes, and every 10 minutes or so mix the salad and massage the kale (I use the back of a wooden spoon and press it against the sides of the bowl). This way you have tender kale as the acid in the dressing and the "massage" breaks down the toughness.

Stephany said...

I wish it was just "the Best Ceaesar Salad You'll Ever Have" - I like the original idea of the best of the best of classic recipes.

There was my (uninvited I know) two cents haha. Does look yummy though!

Carol said...

Raw kale is addictive! I have a few favourite dressings for it but I'll definitely try this! Thanks for posting it.

Sarah said...

Just visited Phoebe's website to check out her other recipes - - really good confessional writing and even better recipes! (I remember seeing her on Barefoot Contessa)

Second Floor Flat said...

I've recently gotten into smoothies and juices to up my leafy green intake - I'm a fan of kale, chard, and the rest, but honestly if you balance the veggies out with some good fruits, you can't even taste 'em. My most recent mix is banana, red chard, carrots, strawberries, blackberries, and apple + ginger juice. Seriously amazing and great for you!

dinaclabaugh said...

Mike and I adore kale. I'm so pathetically in love with it, our sister-in-law gifted him a tshirt from Whole Foods that reads "kale" on the front and most days that shirt turns me on like no other in closet. Ha ha.
We have a very similar salad recipe and love. Thanks for sharing.
xo dina

Jessica Robert said...

I love kale salad because is crunchy, colorful and delicious. The whole family enjoyed it when I made kale salad recently and I think your's will to. The dressing adds a flavorful punch that really perks up the vegetables and fruit.

Wholesale Salad Dressing

Lynford Rozario said...

Looks Yummie and healthy diet.

iPad developer wanted

Duckie said...

MMMMMMM!!! But...when do we put in the anchovies and capers?

redliff said...

looks yummy!!! i'm gonna tell mom to try this recipe

Rachel said...

Making this now! And wondering, where in the world do the capers and anchovies go??

Professional Lifestyle Innovations said...

Kale is one of my absolute favorite foods (weird, but true) and my husband and I eat it almost weekly, it seems. I've been using a similar recipe for my Caesar dressing, and find that less is more (for us, at least) in the olive oil department:

alicia said...

good question! I'm left wondering that, as well!

alicia said...

So what to do with the capers and anchovies? Throw them on top? Integrate to dressing?

Jeanette Arena said...

I think the capers and anchovies definitely go in with the dressing. You can see the capers in the food processor in the top pic with the roasted garlic.

valerief said...

Wow!! This salad looks amazing! I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog.

Michelle K. said...

I have made this multiple times, each to rave reviews. I used toasted pine nuts rather than croutons and it's fantastic. Also, Sprouts sells anchovy-wrapped capers which is a convenient time saver

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