On a recent visit to New York City to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, Phil and I stopped for drinks and nibbles at The Fat Radish. I knew we would be indulging later that night at Babbo, so I went with a light kale Caesar salad and a refreshing dark and stormy (we were celebrating after all). The salad arrived as a bed of shredded kale dressed in perfectly tangy Caesar dressing and topped with anchovies, croutons, chopped bacon, and teeny tiny pieces of hard-boiled eggs. It was heavenly.
After dining at The Fat Radish, I craved their kale Caesar salad and went searching for a recipe to make it myself. This one from Bon Appetit comes pretty close and is fully adaptable depending on your tastes (e.g. add bacon, less anchovy, etc.). You could also easily substitute prepared Caesar dressing in a pinch. I love this as a winter salad because a) kale is in season and b) it is a light, refreshing meal to offset all of the root vegetables consumed this time of year.
1 bunch Lacinato kale (also called “dinosaur kale” for the bumpy, dark leaves)
1 – 2 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 C grated Parmesan
(I typically half the recipe for 2 servings)
8 anchovy fillets, packed in oil (drained)
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
3/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
To make the dressing, combine the first four dressing ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream to make a cohesive, creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dressing can be made ahead and chilled for two days.
To make the salad, cut out the center stalk from each kale leaf and thinly slice the leaves on a diagonal. Combine the kale and dressing in a large bowl and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a second bowl, use a microplane zester or the small holes of a cheese grater to grate the hard-boiled eggs into tiny pieces. Separate the dressed kale onto two plates. Top each salad with half of the grated eggs and the remaining grated Parmesan.