Kale Caesar with Toasted Breadcrumbs

January 04, 2017

We can't walk half a block in NYC without tripping over a kale Caesar salad. Ok, not quite—but this salad is everywhere, and we're fine with it. Why? Because done right (with hearty greens and rich, garlicky dressing), it's satisfying, savory and relatively good for you. We like to use dark green lacinato kale, which is more tender and lends itself well to being sliced into thin strips. Essentially, it's healthy without tasting too healthy.

Kale Caesar with Toasted Breadcrumbs
Makes 4 servings

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 slices country bread, roughly torn into chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

    In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bread pieces and toast until crispy and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper. In a blender or food processor, pulse the toasted bread until pea-size crumbs form (about 15 seconds). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, cheese, olive oil and lemon juice. (Alternatively, shake it up in a Mason jar!) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salad:

  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan, dinosaur or black kale)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

    Remove the stems and ribs from the kale, and slice the leaves crosswise into 1/4-inch ribbons. In a serving bowl, toss the greens with all of the dressing and, using your hands, massage the kale for 30 seconds to help tenderize it. Let the kale rest for 5 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and toss. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of pecorino cheese and serve.

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