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Kale Caesar with Rye Croutons

Kale Caesar

This one is for Emily. Apparently it's possible for someone to love kale more than I do.

We met her for lunch yesterday at Skillet Diner. We split lunch, and she wisely chose the Kale Caesar instead of fries as our side. I was a little wistful--I've said no to fries maybe one other time in my life. But love demands sacrfice, so I went along.

Of course, it was no sacrifice. Curly, bright green kale with garlicky caesar clinging to the ridges, every forkful a hit of winter vitamins. I made the kids a giant vat of white rice for lunch today and got busy making this for myself. (White rice is like crack to them. If they have enough of it, I could probably sneak out of the house, go for a sauna at the Y, and come home before they'd notice.)

I'm tracking my calories lately, and apparently a plateful of this salad will deliver over 800% of your daily vitamin A. I know you don't need that fact to entice you, though.

P.S. I want this t-shirt. Kind of a friendly way to get up on one of my soapboxes?

 Kale Caesar with Rye Croutons
Serves 4. These days, I often have a bag of Trader Joe's washed kale around. When the farmers markets open, I'll commence with washing it again. If you have dino (aka lacinato) kale around, that's even more delicious here, but more expensive and a little harder to find. (Have I mentioned that our house in Bellingham is 5 minutes from Trader Joe's? It's rough.)

For salad
1 large head kale, washed, spun dry, and chopped
4 slices dense rye bread
olive oil
Parmesan or manchego cheese, shaved off with a vegetable peeler

For dressing:
1 large clove garlic
2 anchovies
1 Tb. dijon
1 Tb. worchestershire
1 Tb. mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. olive oil 
freshly ground pepper
pinch of kosher salt 

To make dressing, put all ingredients into a beaker and stick your immersion blender in there. (Or use a food processor.) Add more of anything to taste or thin with a little water if it's too thick.

To make croutons, heat a castiron griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Brush bread with olive oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Cut into cubes.

Toss kale with croutons, cheese and dressing (maybe not all of it), saving a bit of everything for the top.

Reader Comments (13)

Love this idea! I interpret it as a kind of tweak on my go-to raw kale salad, with a spruced-up dressing (anchovies? yes!). LOVE kale. And really nice photo of the dish, btw- looks like a magazine spread!
February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret
I want this NOW. Funny. Rice and sneaking out. :) I really did lol. Thanks for all the wok seasoning tips. That book is so fascinating.
February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Cox
I've made kale caesar twice this week and am loving it. Except for the fact that I'm not really making it since i just buy the vegan caesar dressing from PCC's deli. But if it gets me to eat kale, then it works, right? Those croutons look delicious.
February 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertiffany a
1. i can taste this as i read
2. spring is around the corner
3. so glad you're back

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermolly
I don't know where Skillet gets their kale, but it is SO darn good. Thanks for giving it all the glory it deserves! :)
February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
I wanted to surprise you with the t-shirt...but I thought I should post and let you know that I found it for you. I didn't want you to receive 14 t-shirts, as others are sure to have the same idea. You love Kale. We love you. Thanks for all of the inspiration and teaching. I know that I am more comfortable and creative in the kitchen because of you. I got one for Dave too. He is the King of Kale at work.
February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
Jackie!! Thoughtful, as ever. No, I have not received any kale t-shirts. I'm sure yours will be the first and last. Thanks in advance, and for following me and this blog all this time. And I owe you a phone call!! I"m remembering that day quite awhile ago when I didn't call you back. xo
February 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterSarah MK
this looks lovely.
February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKamille @Redeeming the Table
Bought some anchovies at the store this past weekend. Need to go back for worchestershire and mayonaise. :)

Looking forward to trying this out. xo
February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEm
I can't believe I am going to admit this to you, but I have never tried Kale. Shocking I know! There are so many times in fact when I am in the produce section in the grocery store trying out a new recipe and I have to google images of the ingredient because I have no idea what I am looking for. Sad but true. And that my friend is why I need more healthy people like you in my life, but you went and moved away :( I should hang out more with Emily. For more reasons than one!!!
February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoel
Utterly indited subject matter, thankyou for selective information .that is great blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.
I need to write more. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and for the inspiration. I'm a huge fan and this one is my favorite to date. Love it!
March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJordan Take Flight
its looking so yummy i like it.
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterumair

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