Monday, March 26, 2012

Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw

    When we were at the farmers' market on Sunday I was so overcome with excitement over the return of my favorite booth that sells greens and the return of greens in general that I couldn't restrain myself from buying several bunches of greens, including two bunches of Tuscan kale.  The funny thing is that for years I kept stumbling across recipes that called for Tuscan kale, but I could never find the kale itself.  And now I feel like I see it all the time.  We only buy it every once in awhile, but I rarely have trouble finding it when it is in season.  I don't know if that means that Tuscan kale is more popular now (and therefore more common) or if I am just more aware of it now.

    This salad sounded interesting because I am a sucker for good caesar salads.  I am also a sucker for salad in general come spring time.  Sadly the wonderful spring weather seems to have disappeared, but I couldn't resist making the salad.  The one thing I thought the salad was missing was something with crunch and a buttery, richness - some toasted walnuts, some hand-torn croutons - something along those lines...  I thought the dressing had the right balance of assertiveness (hello anchovies and Parmigiano-Reggiano) against the fresh, clean flavor of the typical Dijon mustard, lemon juice and evoo vinaigrette.  I didn't love the salad, but I enjoyed it.  It was different.  And it was wonderfully spring-y (even if the weather is no longer so spring-y).  Doesn't it look spring-y?  I have to say that scraping egg whites and egg yolks through a strainer makes for a very pretty dish, even if the strainer is impossible to clean afterwards.

    Recipe after the jump!

    Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw
    Bon Appetit
    July 2011

    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
    1 garlic clove
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 hard-boiled egg, peeled
    14 ounces Tuscan kale or other kale, center stalks removed, thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)
      Combine the first 4 ingredients in a blender; purée until smooth. With machine running, slowly add oil, drop by drop, to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.
      Separate egg white from yolk. Place egg white in a coarse-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Press egg white through strainer with the back of a spoon; scrape egg white from bottom of strainer. Repeat with egg yolk, using a clean strainer and bowl.
      Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and sieved eggs.

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