My friend Angie introduced me to Emporio 231 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013. Very good Italian food and the price is great if you book through Savored (invite link). When a couple of us gathered there for a girls’ night out, we were seated when Angie said, “you have to try the Kale Salad!” Of course, we all loved it–Angie is a taste bud.  On the menu, they call it Cavolo Nero which just means black leaf kale, the type they use. What they don’t say or write is that it was essentially a Caesar Salad made with kale instead of romaine lettuce. I immediately thought to myself: I’ll make this for the girls next time they come over. I did and they all approved of this recipe 100%. What I consider 8 to 10 servings was gobbled up by six people.

As if great-taste is not valuable enough as a salad characteristic, this salad also offers a unique trait in that it can (and should) be dressed ahead of time! Usually you can’t dress a salad and let it sit, all the greens will wilt and it will look oh-so sad. Not this one, the kale will maintain its curly leaves and fluffy look. (Now, if only my hair could.)

Kale Caesar Salad

Some tips to take this salad up a notch:

There are a couple of different types of kale varying in shades of green and even some with a little white and gorgeous purple color. If you mix different types together, you get a really pretty salad.

As with most salad dressings–and even more so in this one–use the best extra virgin olive oil you can find. When we ate at MP Taverna recently, we liked their olive oil and they told us they use Iliada Organic Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive oil available for a very good price on Amazon.  The olive oil from Maiolino is astounding, incredibly buttery and rich.  It is the Colombino from Terre Bormane and also available from Amazon, but more expensive.  Both are great options.

Kale Caesar Salad with Whole Wheat Croutons
~8-10 servings

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 teaspoons
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 anchovies, smashed (preferably in mortar and pestle)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice + extra to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces finely grated (on a micro-plane) Grana Padana or Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 12 – 14 oz kale leaves, cut or torn into bite sized pieces   *measure before you wash, water will change the weight

*dressing portion is an adaptation from Simply Recipes

Instructions –

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Cut bread into 3/4″ cubes. Take 2 teaspoons of the garlic infused olive oil and toss with the bread. Spread on a tray covered in aluminum foil in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove and set aside.

cubed bread

3. Whisk together anchovy, egg, and remaining olive oil with garlic until it looks creamy. Whisk in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk in 3/4 of the grana padana or parmesan. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed.

4. Toss with kale until very well coated. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If you’re going to wait longer before you serve it, store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to six hours. (Left-overs will still taste good even kept longer but about 6 hours seems to be the peak.)

5. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Top with croutons. Serve.

Kale Caesar Salad with fork 3

posted by jessica at 12:26 PM Filed under American, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.