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All kale Caesar

Kale Caesar salad with rye croutons delivers winter vitamins with a crunch.

By In Praise of Leftovers / February 22, 2012

Kale Caesar salad with rye croutons.

In Praise of Leftovers

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This one is for Emily. Apparently it's possible for someone to love kale more than I do.

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In Praise of Leftovers

Sarah Murphy-Kangas is a cook, writer, mother, teacher, and group facilitator. She lives with her family in Seattle, Washington. She started her blog, In Praise of Leftovers, as a way to share her kitchen exploits with friends and family and further explore her obsession with food. Her favorite challenge is to make something out of nothing.

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We met her for lunch yesterday at Skillet Diner. We split lunch, and she wisely chose the Kale Caesar instead of fries as our side. I was a little wistful – I've said no to fries maybe one other time in my life. But love demands sacrifice, so I went along.

Of course, it was no sacrifice. Curly, bright green kale with garlicky Caesar clinging to the ridges, every forkful a hit of winter vitamins. I made the kids a giant vat of white rice for lunch today and got busy making this for myself. I'm tracking my calories lately, and apparently a plateful of this salad will deliver over 800% of your daily vitamin A. I know you don't need that fact to entice you, though.

These days, I often have a bag of Trader Joe's washed kale around. When the farmers markets open, I'll commence with washing it again. If you have dino (aka lacinato) kale around, that's even more delicious here, but more expensive and a little harder to find. (Have I mentioned that our house in Bellingham is 5 minutes from Trader Joe's? It's rough.)

Kale Caesar with Rye Croutons
Serves 4

For salad:
1 large head kale, washed, spun dry, and chopped
4 slices dense rye bread
olive oil
Parmesan or manchego cheese, shaved off with a vegetable peeler

For dressing:
1 large clove garlic
2 anchovies
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil 
freshly ground pepper
pinch of kosher salt 

To make dressing, put all ingredients into a beaker and stick your immersion blender in there. (Or use a food processor.) Add more of anything to taste or thin with a little water if it's too thick.

To make croutons, heat a castiron griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Brush bread with olive oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Cut into cubes.

Toss kale with croutons, cheese and dressing (maybe not all of it), saving a bit of everything for the top.

Related post:  Cumin Fried Rice with Chorizo and Kale

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