Bi-Rite Market's Lemony Kale Caesar Salad

[Photograph: France Ruffenach]

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food to give away this week.

Kale is one of those winter stalwarts—we love its hearty, green flavors and reliable presence in the produce section, but sometimes we run out of creative kale ideas. To counter any kale ennui, here's a Lemony Kale Caesar Salad from Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food, a bright, unexpected take on our winter go-to green.

The recipe takes a super charged Caesar dressing (think plenty of lemon, garlic, and anchovies) and uses it to dress dark green leaves of kale. While the recipe calls for dinosaur or lacinato kale you could easily use the curly variety, just be prepared to let the dressing sit for a while before serving so that the acid has a chance to soften the leaves.

Why you should make this: If you're plum out of ideas for kale, this recipe will add a brightness to your winter salad repertoire, not to mention inspiring all sorts of other kale salad ideas.

Next time we might think about: Slicing the kale even finer since it does have a tendency to be a little tough when eaten raw.

Adapted from Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food by Sam Mogannam and Dabney Gough. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Bi-Rite Market's Lemony Kale Caesar Salad

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4 to 6 
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
This recipe appears in: Cook the Book: 'Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food'

Ingredients

  • 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 

Procedures

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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).

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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).

    Note: We’ve used regular kale, red leaf kale, and others to make this salad, and they’re all delicious. Whatever the variety, the younger and smaller the leaves, the more tender they are and the better for eating raw. You can also use tender inner young escarole leaves, radicchio, or a mix of chicories.

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