I know today is Tuesday but yesterday was my birthday, I was given the gift of kale and knew it would be the perfect Kale Monday recipe – just on Tuesday. While I’m in New York and running around doing Le Tour de Kale, I’m also staying at the apartment of my very dear friend and her fiancé, Nick. They live near Washington Square Park and have a fantastic view. And Nick is a fabulous cook. He’s the cook that makes elaborate recipes and makes it all look easy. For my birthday dinner, he cooked me a kale dish that was to die for. There really was nothing better than that view, kale and being with dear friends.
Kale Caesar with Homemade Croutons
via Tartine Bread cookbook by Chris Robertson
3-4 slices of day old bread torn into 1 – 1 1/2 inch thick chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of herbs de Provence (optional)
2 pounds of black kale (Tuscan, dinosaur, lacinato are the same variety), center stems removed and torn
3 cloves garlic
6 olive oil packed anchovy fillets
1 large egg yolk
2 cups olive oil
2/3 cup grated or shaved aged Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C. In a bowl mix the bread pieces with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the herbs if they are also preferred.
2. Spread the bread on a baking sheet (as evenly as possible) and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown/crisp. If croutons are not cooking evenly, redistribute them on the sheet midway through baking.
1. Grate the zest from 1 lemon. Cut both lemons in half.
2. Put garlic, anchovies and lemon zest in mortar and mash up with pestle to make a paste. If you don’t have a mortar, Nick recommends finely chopping the garlic and anchovies and even chop them together. (But he also says that every serious cook should own a mortar/pestle).
3. If using the mortar, add the egg yolk, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice (not the entire thing). If not using the mortar, place everything into a mixing bowl. Start stirring continuously.
4. Continue stirring and add 1/2 cup of olive oil bit by bit. The mixture should start to look creamy.
5. Begin adding the rest of the oil slowly and the dressing will begin to thicken. Every so often, add a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and add the salt and more lemon juice.
6. Add spoonfuls of water, one at a time, continue stirring, to make the consistency of a heavy cream.
7. In a large salad bowl, combine the kale and croutons. Pour the dressing over the top and toss. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss again.