This recipe video was so much fun to make, thanks to the impromptu participation of Lucy, the marvellous kale-eating wonder dog and my friend Kelly and his colossal kale patch. Had you ever seen a dog eat kale like that?! I sure hadn’t. But I do share Lucy’s enthusiasm for the big green leaves.
Actually, I didn’t start loving kale until I discovered varieties other than the frilly cardboard-tasting stuff you often find in grocery stores. Call me a kale snob but I like my kale flat-leafed, dark, plump, and tender. My favorite varieties to grow and eat are Lacinato, Red Russian, and Madeley. Whichever one you prefer, the good news is that all kale varieties are full of cancer-fighting, heart-protecting glucosinolates. In her NY Times best seller Eating On The Wild Side, Jo Robinson explains that a serving of kale has more calcium than a 6 oz. glass of milk and more fiber than three slices of whole wheat bread. She goes on to say that kale is best eaten raw, since it’s higher in vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than when it’s cooked. And I can think of no better way to consume raw kale than in this salad. It has been known to turn kale-haters into kale-lovers.
I learned this take on Caesar salad last summer at one of Salt Water Farm’s amazing cooking classes. I’ve since made it many times, always to great acclaim. The dressing is rich, creamy, and bursting with flavor thanks to copious amounts of capers, garlic, and parsley. You can serve it with croutons for a more classic Caesar, but I usually opt for cherry tomatoes during the summer months. I also like to use pecorino romano instead of parmesan but both are delicious and whichever one you chose should be used generously. When I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to make this dressing, I make a shortcut version of this salad using my sister’s easy eggless aioli recipe which is lighter and equally delicious. Bon appétit!
Shredded Kale Caesar Salad
This kale-based spin on a classic Caesar salad is sure to be a hit on your table. Perfect for a Summer dinner or party. Watch a fun video from Kitchen Vignettes featuring a cameo from Lucy the Dog!
- For the Salad:
- 1 extra-large bunch of kale or 2 regular-sized bunches
- 1 to 2 cups croutons or chopped cherry tomatoes
- 4 oz freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
- For the Dressing:
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 large bunch parsley (or 2 small bunches)
- 1 small jar of capers, drained (about 2 to 3 tbsp.)
- 3 anchovy fillets
- Zest of 1 organic lemon
- Juice of two organic lemons
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Rinse and dry the kale. Roll up the leaves tightly, 3 or 4 at a time, and shred (chiffonade) them as finely as possible. You can remove the stems before you do this if you wish. Place the shredded kale in a large salad bowl.
- On a cutting board, chop the garlic, capers, parsley, anchovies to a pulp (a mortar & pestle will also do the trick).
- Transfer this paste to a medium bowl and add the egg yolk, mustard, sherry vinegar, lemon juice and zest. Mix together well.
- Gradually whisk in the olive oil, pouring it in a thin, slow stream. Whisk well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing on the shredded kale and toss. If you find the dressing to be too much for one salad, immediately refrigerate the unused amount and use it within 2 to 3 days.
- Let the salad stand for 15 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld together.
- Garnish with grated cheese and cherry tomatoes or croutons.
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.