Kale Caesar Salad With Sourdough Croutons

Sometimes the origin of food can be surprising. Things don’t always come from where you think they should have. Caesar salad is one of those. One of the most loved salads on the planet, this simple favorite is believed to have been created by an Italian-American restaurateur , Caesar Cardini, in Tijuana, Mexico. The story has it that Cardini owned a restaurant in a popular tourist area and wanted to attract patrons during Prohibition and he put together this simple salad dish, which quickly took off in popularity. Cardini’s recipe appears to be quite close to what we know (consisting of romaine lettuce and a dressing with Parmesan, cheese, egg, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce). But Cardini’s original version was devoid of anchovies. It is believed that Cardini’s brother, Alex, added this salty ingredient–which would go on to be incorporated into the classic recipe.

kale Caesar salad

I love a great Caesar salad, but I always go light on that rich dressing. For this recipe, I developed something more healthful, one that uses kale instead of romaine. Kale, as many know, is a popular food these days. And there is good reason. Kale is exceptionally rich in nutrients, especially in antioxidants, fiber, and beta-carotene.

But let’s be honest, cooking with kale can be challenging. The stuff can be tough and the cud-like quality if not prepared right is off-putting. The main technique in this simple kale salad is using baby kale (if in a hurry), or when using regular kale, removing all large spines (something many people and restaurants do not do) and rubbing olive oil all over the leaves to marinate (or tenderize it) in advance of mixing with the dressing. This is simple to do and only involves slight additional effort, but the outcome is well worth it. I kept the dressing for this recipe traditional, why ruin a great thing. This is a lovely salad that works for a weekday dinner but is elegant enough to be served at a special holiday meal as well so file it away for Thanksgiving.

kale Caesar salad

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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