Kale is riding high on the food trend wave, almost to the point of overkill. While I love the nutritional benefits; I haven’t found a recipe that blows my socks off. I still eat kale regularly. It keeps for a long time in the refrigerator and makes a decent sauteed green (though I prefer Swiss chard). In this case I had a getting-old-but-still-good bunch of organic kale, a perfectly ripe Florida avocado and some fancy anchovies in the fridge. I thought to myself, “How wonderful and brilliant would a kale Caesar with creamy avocado dressing be?” Apparently, I’m not that brilliant. A quick search on Google and I found a few variations of the recipe.
To save myself some time inventing yet another version of the recipe, I gave this recipe by Emily from Five and Spice (a recipe she adapted from In Pat’s Kitchen via Food52) a shot, adding big pieces of shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, heirloom yellow tomato, avocado chunks and whole wheat croutons made from leftover breakfast toast.
The salad was delicious, but I still prefer the crunchy sweetness of Romaine lettuce. So why should you try it? I can think of three good reasons: First, like me, you probably have an aging bunch of kale in your fridge. Second, it keeps much longer than a traditional Caesar; even dressed. Third, you get the sweet satisfaction of feeding yourself and your family a healthier meal.
A note: If you are using a Florida avocado, use only half of one in the dressing.
Using a food processor, pulse together the anchovies, garlic, Worcestershire, and Dijon until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the avocado, lemon and mayonnaise. Blend until very smooth. Add a little water 1 teaspoon at a time if the dressing is too thick.
In a bowl, stir together the dressing and Parmesan cheese. Cover with plastic wrap so the surface is touching (to prevent browning). Refrigerate until chilled.
Wash and dry the kale, removing the ribs with a knife. Slice into thin, bite-sized pieces.
Add the kale to a bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Using your hands, rub the kale pieces in the salt for a few minutes.
Toss the kale in the dressing (use a little or a lot) and top with fresh black pepper, croutons and extra cheese.
Drizzle bread cubes with olive oil and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until crusty and brown.