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
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
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.)