Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Kale Caesar Salad

My family loves us some authentic Caesar Salad. This dressing recipe is one my mom has been making since I can remember... you can see from the original below that it has been well used.

I believe Rod is my Mom's ex-boyfriend's Brother..... thank you Rod, wherever you are. I've modified the recipe a touch. I find using half vegetable oil and half olive oil is better than all olive oil, as the flavour can be a little over powering if you use all olive oil. I also don't like buying a tin of anchovies because I never use the whole thing in one go and don't want them sitting in my fridge. Trying to find Anchovy Paste at Superstore, like Tahini, is a nightmare - it's in the refrigerated section alongside the kraft parmesean, feta cheese and pickled eggs - super weird, I know. If you think anchovies and raw egg are gross - I do too, but the dressing tastes so authentic and wonderful, you'll have no recollection that you added those two fear factor ingredients when you're eating it.

If any of you are like me and grew up in 90's and 00's knowing the Weight Watchers points value to every food item - the thought of using this "high fat" dressing may cause you to think "10 points for a salad - then I'd have to cut out breakfast - not for a salad you crazy woman" (Disclaimer: I didn't actually calculate the points value). Chill out - the way I look at it: Vegetables suck, if by dressing them in butter or a delicious dressing they will taste wonderful and you will get all the nutritional benefits, its worth it. Also, consider the fact that the recipe makes a ton of servings and really it's a few tablespoons of healthy fat per serving - get over it. 

One last thing - this dressing could obviously be used on romaine lettuce. Try it on Kale though. It's a fairly intense dressing that needs a heavy lettuce to be able to stand up to it, thereby making Kale a perfect compliment. I've fed it to a few "kale haters" and they've gobbled it down, asking for seconds (i'm looking at you Caners and Glen).

Kale Caesar Salad
Serves 6 (as a side)

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 vegetable oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 egg
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Generous grinding of pepper
1/2 Teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon anchovy paste

1 bunch Kale
croutons (crunchy foccacia ones stand up best to the dressing)
real piece of parmesan

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and whiz until combined, or use an immersion blender to combine (as I prefer). Best to combine and refrigerate a few hours before serving.

Prepare Kale: Remove centre stalks or ribs from each Kale leaf either by cutting it out or using your hand to shear off the leafy edible part. Slice kale laves until you have small bite sized pieces. Tenderize Kale by sprinkling no more then 1 teaspoon of Kosher or course salt over pieces and massaging the salt into the Kale leaves. Toss Kale into large salad bowl.

Start by pouring about 3/4s of the dressing over the kale and tossing - you don't want to over dress it. Only use the whole dressing amount if needed. Toss in croutons and use a vegetable peeler to shave some parmesan flakes over the salad.

Kale Salad Tips:
- the massage step is crucial
- dress the salad a little ahead of eating, it's best for it to sit for a bit (unlike most salads)
- you will need to use a bit more dressing than you would on other lettuces

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