I had my first Kale Caesar Salad at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley earlier this year and loved every bite of it. I vowed to myself that I would make something similar at home but I waited ever so many months to do so until I harvested the first Lacinato kale from my own garden. One of the things that I loved about Cafe Rouge's version of the salad was the texture which was the result of finely shredding the kale rather than tearing or cutting the leaves into larger pieces. It has been too long to accurately remember the flavor of the Cafe Rouge salad so I cannot say that this is a replication of that salad, but it turned out to be just what I wanted, no need to fiddle around with the recipe, this it IT.
1 pound very fresh Lacinato kale, preferably not too mature and tough
Juice of half a lemon (standard lemon, not Meyer)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 anchovy filets (preferably salt packed, rinsed), minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce (Caribe)
1/2 cup or your favorite extra virgin olive oil (McEvoy Ranch is mine)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano, plus additional
Generous grinding of black pepper
Your favorite crunchy croutons (homemade whole wheat garlic for me)
Boquerones (Spanish marinated anchovies), optional
Wash the kale in 2 or 3 changes of water, inspecting thoroughly for aphids and caterpillars. Cut out the mid ribs. Stack the kale leaf halves in batches and then slice them crosswise into short julienne (the width of the leaf halves) about 1/4-inch or so wide. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the lemon juice, garlic, anchovy, mustard, egg yolk, Worcestershire, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to create a thick emulsified dressing.
Pour all the dressing over the kale and toss well, add all of the Parmigiano and as much freshly ground black pepper as you desire and toss to mix thoroughly. At this point you can toss in the croutons or save them to scatter on top of the salad. Serve immediately or, one of the beauties of this salad if you don't add the croutons right away, refrigerate to serve later.
Serve with a sprinkle of Parmigiano, more freshly ground black pepper, croutons, and the optional Boquerones draped over the top.
We had this salad for dinner (as dinner, not as a side salad) and ended up with leftovers which were refrigerated overnight and were delicious for lunch the next day. There wasn't enough to save past lunch but I suspect that it would have kept well even a bit longer.
About This Blog
This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.
Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...
Thank you and enjoy!