Sometimes our taste buds need a little splurge. I think a Kale Caesar is one of those perfect opportunities to enjoy a decadent homemade dressing and still feel nourished, given the redeeming qualities of kale. When I want more of a meal, I top this salad with grilled chicken or shrimp, and sometimes a spoonful of croutons for some crunch.
I like to use lacinato kale because I find it easier to chop and a bit more palatable when raw than curly kale. This dressing has a lemony, garlicky kick, which the kale can stand up to! The addition of a tablespoon of water helps stretch the dressing and manage the caloric impact. Unlike a traditional Caesar, there is no raw egg, so any leftover dressing will store in the fridge for a few days. The dressing thickens from the rapid emulsification achieved in the mini prep processor or blender.
Make sure to chop the kale into thin ribbons by layering a few kale leaves, rolling them, and then slicing into thin ribbons, like a chiffonade. And, toss the kale in the dressing in a large bowl with tongs for a minute or two before plating. This ensures that the dressing coats evenly over the salad.
Serves 4 as a side salad or 2 as a main course.
2-3 gloves garlic, minced
juice of one lemon (2 TB)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp anchovy paste
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TB water
¼ cup grated Parmigiano cheese
freshly ground pepper
1 bunch kale, stems removed, washed and sliced into thin ribbons
croutons, optional for serving
In the bowl of a mini prep food processor or a blender, combine the first 7 ingredients and add ¼ tsp salt (garlic, lemon, olive oil, mustard, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce & water). Pulse until well combined.
Scrape into a small bowl and gently mix in the cheese. Season to taste with additional salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place the kale in a large bowl and spoon about half of the dressing over the kale, and toss together with tongs. Plate and serve with extra dressing on the side.
Store any unused dressing in the fridge for up to three days.
Makes ½ cup dressing.