|I would make an entire meal of this Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad|
I promised I'd try to have meatless dishes on the blog for Meatless Monday mornings, and when I made that promise I was thinking about meatless main dishes like the Mediterranean Tostadas I featured last week. But then I made this Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad with my nephew Jake, and we absolutely could not stop eating it. The idea of combining kale and Caesar dressing came from Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw from Bon Appetit Magazine, and it wasn't until we were about to make it that I thought of combining thinly-sliced romaine lettuce with sliced kale in the salad. I loved the way the romaine toned the kale down just a bit and the combination of dark-green kale and lighter romaine was pretty too. I'd consider this a meatless recipe but it's not vegan because the dressing has a tiny bit of anchovy paste and the salad has Parmesan. (If you prefer you can substititute soy sauce for the anchovy paste.) I loved this Caesar dressing recipe with no raw eggs, but Jake and I both agreed that even if you cheat and use my favorite bottled Caesar Dressing (or your own favorite vegan Caesar dressing) this will still be an amazingly delicious salad. And when I make this again (soon!) I'll just eat a huge bowl of it for a meal, which I've decided entitles it to be in the spotlight for Meatless Monday.
Since I'm going to try to commit to the Meatless Monday idea, I'm using the label Meatless Monday to link those posts together; you can use that link to see other posts I've featured on Kalyn's Kitchen for Meatless Monday. (Only two so far, although there are lots of meatless dishes in the Vegetarian section of the recipe archives.) I also write a Meatless Monday feature at BlogHer.com, where every Monday I spotlight one of the drool-worthy meatless dishes I find around the food blog world. If you're a blogger who participates in Meatless Monday, you're invited to visit Blogher's Meatless Monday Post each week and share your recipe link in the comments there.
In a blender, food processor, or mini-processor, combine the lemon juice, anchovy paste (or soy sauce), garlic puree, and Dijon mustard. Add the olive oil a little at a time, processing after each addition, then stir in half the freshly grated Parmesan and season the dressing with salt and pepper. Chill the dressing until you're ready to use it. We were hungry, so we chilled it in the freezer for a few minutes! (If making this dressing just isn't going to happen at your house, I recommend my favorite bottled Caesar Dressing instead.)
Thinly slice enough romaine lettuce to make 4-5 cups, then wash and spin dry (or dry with paper towels.)
I had small kale leaves from my garden, but if you have larger leaves of kale you may need to cut out the center spine. Then stack up the leaves and cut into thin slices, about 1/2 inch thick.
Combine the kale and romaine and toss with enough dressing to moisten all the leaves. Those green salad tossers in the photo are part of the Salad Plant that I got a few years ago from my brother Rand. I love them, and use them all the time. (Blogger disclosure: The manufacturers of Salad Plant have never heard of me, have no idea I'm gushing over their product, and I don't make any money if you buy it, but if you do buy one I'm pretty sure you'll love it just like I do!)
Then toss in the other half of the grated Parmesan and toss again. Devour the salad and start thinking about how quickly you can make it again. (And Kale is one of The World's Healthiest Foods, so you can give yourself a tiny pat on the back if you eat this as an entire meal.)
(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe adapted from Tuscan Kale Caesar Slaw at Bon Appetit Magazine.)
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I use my frozen fresh lemon juice)
1 T anchovy paste from a tube (or substitute soy sauce)
1 tsp. garlic puree (I used garlic puree from a jar)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
6 T olive oil
2 T + 2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4-5 oz. romaine lettuce, thinly sliced, washed and dried
4-5 oz. dark green kale, center spine removed if large, thinly sliced, washed, and dried
In a blender, food processor, or the mini-processor bowl of an immersion blender combine the lemon juice, anchovy paste (or soy sauce), garlic puree, and Dijon and pulse together a few times. Then add the olive oil one tablespoon at a time, pulsing for a few seconds after each tablespoon of oil is added. (This is easiest in a food processor with a feed tube, but you can do it in a blender or mini-processor easily enough too.) Stir in 2 T of freshly grated Parmesan and season the dressing with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Put dressing in the fridge and chill until ready to use, or if you want to make the salad right away, chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so.
(If making this dressing is just not going to happen at your house, I'd still make the salad and simply dress it with Cardini's Caesar, which is my all-time favorite bottled Caesar dressing, or use your favorite vegan Caesar dressing.)
Thinly slice romaine lettuce in 1/2 inch strips until you have enough to make 4-5 cups sliced romaine. Wash the sliced lettuce, then spin dry or dry with paper towels. If you have small garden kale leaves you won't need to cut away the center spine, but for large kale leaves, fold it over along the spine and cut away the thick part of the kale spine and discard. Then stack up a bunch of kale leaves and slice 1/2 inch thick, repeating until you have enough sliced kale to make 4-5 cups of sliced kale. Wash kale and spin dry or dry with paper towels.
Combine the sliced romaine and kale in a large bowl, big enough to thoroughly toss the salad. Add a few tablespoons of dressing and toss, repeating until all the salad greens are very lightly coated with dressing. (You probably won't need all the dressing, but save it in the fridge for another time.) Add the remaining 2 T of freshly grated Parmesan to the salad and toss again. Serve right away.
We had a little bit of the salad left and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted the next day even after being in the fridge overnight. I think this would be a great salad to take to work already made for lunch, as long as you have a fridge to keep it in during the morning.
South Beach Suggestions:
I still remember how excited I was when I found Cardini's Caesar recommended as a good low-glycemic salad dressing in one of the South Beach Diet cookbooks, since it had been my favorite for years. As long as you use a moderate amount of dressing, this salad is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
More Tasty Salads with Kale:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Raw Kale Salad with Pecorini (or Parmesan) and Lemon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Red Russian Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw from Kalyn's Kitchen
Fully Loaded Kale Salad (vegan) from Healthy Happy Life
Kale Salad with Avocado and Apple (vegan) from Healthy Green Kitchen
Cauliflower and Kale Salad (vegan) from Steamy Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)