Using our Green Extra Virgin Olive Oil this special side of kale will no doubt be the talk -and toast- of the table. "All Hail the Green Caesar Salad!"
For the dressing:
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2/3 Cup Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 fillets anchovies
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch Sea Salt
For the croutons:
Day-old rustic bread
Freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
2 bunches of kale, de-stemmed to remove the fibrous center stalk of the kale leaf, and cut up into one-inch sections (romaine lettuce is used in the classic recipe but during the colder months of winter, the kale makes this a more robust, richer salad)
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
To make the dressing:
The classic way to make a Caesar dressing is to make it in front of your guests, table side. A large, heavy wooden bowl is needed. Sprinkle a small amount of sea salt in the bottom of the wooden bowl and then rub the halved garlic clove all over the inside of the bowl (the salt will act as an abrasion in helping to extract more flavour from the fresh garlic). Discard the garlic clove. Add two egg yolks to the bowl, along with the finely chopped anchovy, Sicilian Lemon Vinegar (keep a tad in reserve to adjust the acidity later, to taste), and the Worcestershire sauce, whisk together with a firm whisk. Slowly, start adding the extra virgin olive oil, while constantly whisking. The dressing will begin to emulsify and thicken. For a thinner dressing add less oil, for a thicker dressing continue to whisk in extra virgin olive oil until the desired thickness. Taste and adjust the dressing as needed-add remaining Sicilian Lemon Vinegar to lend greater acidity, more sea salt to adjust the saltiness, as desired. Remember that once the salad is dressed you will be adding freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: To keep the bowl from moving around while whisking, place it on top of a slightly moistened cloth towel. If you want to avoid anchovies, omit them from this recipe and double Worcestershire sauce. Additional items that can be added to the dressing to make it to your taste: hot sauce or Dijon mustard. Have some fun experimenting with making this recipe using different intensities of extra virgin olive oils.
To make the croutons:
Cut up the day-old rustic bread into one-inch chunks, toss these cubes into extra virgin olive oil, start with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and add more to get the desired saturation point of the bread. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the dressed bread cubes into a baking dish and bake in a 350F oven for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly-toasted brown. Allow to cool before adding to the salad.
Tip: Croutons will last indefinitely in a closed container. This is a great way to extend the life of few days old, stale bread. You can also get creative with the size and shape of the croutons.
Composing the salad:
Add the chopped kale, croutons, and additional anchovies (if desired) to the dressing, along with a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano. Toss thoroughly. When serving, add the salad to the plate or bowl, add freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and freshly ground black pepper to the salad and serve.
Tips on serving: Do not let the kale sit in the dressing for more than ten minutes before serving, the kale will get soggy and limp. Whole fillets of anchovy on top make for a great presentation. Grilled chicken, turkey, or shrimp also make great additions.
Factoid: An interesting fact on the origins of the Caesar salad: this much loved salad was invented in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924 by a restaurateur named Caesar Cardini, hence the name.