Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bi-Rite Markets Lemony Kale Caesar Salad

I don't know how this happened, but I am currently obsessed with the idea of kale caesar salads.  I know we have made a few on the blog before, but I think saw a reference to kale caesar salad on NY Magazine's website a few months back and I have been thinking about it ever since.  Of course now that I am thinking about it I can't find the reference, but I am going to blame NY Magazine anyway.  Mature, right?  Anyway, I found this version of kale caesar salad on Serious Eats (which seems to have recently replaced Epicurious as my go-to source of recipes/inspiration).  If only we had made some homemade croutons I think it would have been kickass.  The salad was pretty good, but I think the buttery flavor and crunchy texture of the croutons would have taken it to the next level.  The dressing has some serious kick (which you will notice if you try it on its own), but you need a dressing with some real pizazz to jazz up the kale.

Recipe after the jump!

Bi-Rite Markets Lemony Kale Caesar Salad
Available at Serious Eats

1 medium bunch dino or lacinato kale 
(about 10 ounces) (see Note)
2 medium cloves garlic
Kosher salt
2 anchovy fillets, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice,
more to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 
more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

Strip off and discard any thick stalks from the kale. If the leaves are very tender, you can tear them into bite-size pieces. Otherwise, cut them by stacking 6 or 8 of the leaves, rolling into a tight cigar, and slicing crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Repeat with the remaining kale; pile any particularly wide strips on the cutting board and cut across the pile once or twice. Put in a large bowl and set aside.

Coarsely chop the garlic and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Use the flat side of a chef’s knife to smash and press the garlic into a paste (you should have about 3/4 teaspoon).

Transfer to a small bowl and add the anchovy, egg yolk, lemon juice, and Dijon. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oil until completely incorporated. Dip a leaf of kale into the dressing and taste. Add more lemon juice or salt as needed.

Put the kale into a large bowl and drizzle about 
1 1/2 tablespoons of the dressing over the kale. With your hands, gently toss until the leaves are evenly coated, adding just enough dressing to coat the leaves lightly. Sprinkle the cheese over and toss again to blend. Taste and add more dressing or salt as needed.

Garnish with an extra sprinkling of cheese and a grind or two of pepper. You can serve the salad right away, but you can also let it sit for a few minutes before serving (in this time, the acid in the dressing will tenderize the leaves a bit).

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