Kale Caesar Salad {recipe}

Kale Caesar Salad

I can lie to you…

…to help you feel better, so you won’t feel bad about yourself, because isn’t that the only time, they say, lying is okay? When you’re trying not to hurt someone?

(Personally, I believe that lying is never okay, and have written a very long post about it, um, in my head, but likely will never publish it because, I ain’t gonna lie to you, it would make me a hypocrite.)

But if I lie to you to spare your feelings, then I may as well put quotes around myself and be that “friend” who tells you that you look great! when you ask me “Do I look okay?” before heading out the door to go meet that new guy, even though that dress actually makes me you look like last week’s refrigerator biscuit dough bursting out of a knit jersey twist can.

(This didn’t actually happen. Well, the dress did, but not those exact words.)

So I’m not going to lie.

What you did?

Yes, what you did was stupid.

Why did you do that? (Don’t know.) Were you drunk? (No.) Were you high? (No.) Or worst of all, were you…

...just being yourself?!

Look, you’re going to do a lot of stupid things. And the thing is, unless you’re drunk or high or in some other altered state of consciousness (post-facebook-stalking jealous rage is obviously included here) those stupid things are, well, you just being you. Ok, maybe a slightly exaggerated version of the tiny sliver of insanity that is part of you, but still, you shouldn’t necessarily hide your true self.

(Working on a long-term toning down of that little bit insanity, i.e. improving you, not that you need improving, is a totally different subject that we’ll tackle another day.)

I’m not going to scold you because 1) I’m not your parent, I’m your friend and 2) I know you already feel like poo. Which means you learned your lesson, though this doesn’t mean you won’t do it again. Because guess what? You might do it again because that’s who you are.

Oh, and I know that you didn’t actually ask me if I thought what you did was stupid, but what? Am I supposed to wait until you ask me if there is a ribbon of kale planted in the space just left of center that flaps like a goddamned foodfreaky flag every time you exhale?

We’re such good friends.


If there is a Caesar salad on the menu when I am in any restaurant, I order it. Partly because Caesar salad, like chicken and salmon, is a good way to gauge how good the restaurant is; but mostly because Caesar salad is one of my ATF salads of all time. I won’t go into my personal history with Caesar salad, but there is one important point to note: there are many ways to Caesarify something, but it isn’t Caesar to me unless there is a very obvious anchovy component, preferably in the form of actual anchovies on the salad.

(The whole “anchovy is an ingredient in Worcestersire sauce which is an ingredient in Caesar dressing” doesn’t really count in my world.)

Naturally, there are no whole anchovies on this Caesar Salad made with kale! There are, however, a barely street legal number of whole anchovies in the Anchovy Vinaigrette, which has recently become the primary reason for my gastronomic existence (I’ll explain in the recipe intro).

Classic Caesar dressing also has an egg yolk or two to make it creamy but since we’re such good friends, I’m just going to tell you that raw eggs scare the living shit out of me. I am even a little bit terrified by sunny side up and other various forms of eggs with undercooked yolks, but for now, I am telling my foodie self that the sunny, runny yellow yolk that spills out of a poached egg and mixes with the anchovy vinaigrette into some sick in-bowl orgiastic dressing is totally safe because it did, at some point, sit in simmering water.

I hope you’d never tell me otherwise.
Caesar (anchovy) dressing

Kale Caesar Salad {recipe}

serves 2


1 bunch of Tuscan kale, washed, dried, tough center stalk removed and leaves julienned (see directions if you need more detail on how to do this)
Anchovy Vinaigrette (recipe below)
2 poached eggs
shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, about ¼ cup
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2-4 grilled toasts (see how-to below)


To remove stalks and julienne kale: Remove tough center stalk from each kale leaf by either stripping each half away from the stalk, or by laying the leaf on a cutting board and slicing the stalk out with a knife.

Stack kale leaves on top of each other, roll into a long, skinny kale “tube,” and slice into ¼- to ½-inch wide strips.

Toss julienned kale with about 2 tablespoons of Anchovy Vinaigrette until leaves are evenly coated. Taste, and if needed, add more vinaigrette, salt, and/or fresh cracked black pepper. You will probably need at least 2 more tablespoons of the vinaigrette, so I probably should have just started the recipe that way.

For each serving, place a few handfuls of dressed kale in a shallow bowl or plate with high sides (since poached eggs will be runny). Place a poached egg in the center, sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for each salad.

Serve each salad with grilled bread and extra salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Anchovy Vinaigrette

This recipe makes enough vinaigrette for a week of salads. Use what you need for the Kale Caesar, then store the rest in a jar in the fridge. I put it on everything from poached eggs (without the kale) to quinoa to roasted vegetables. Everything.


1 large cloves garlic, chopped
½ small shallot, chopped
4 anchovy fillets
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
juice from half lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2-4 tablespoons warm water
pinch of sugar
½ cup olive oil


Place all the ingredients in a food processor on medium speed until combined.

Alternatively, very finely mince the garlic, then mash with a fork with the anchovies, salt and pepper. Place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.

Keep Anchovy Vinaigrette in a jar with tightly fitting lid in refrigerator for a few days.

Grilled Bread

If you can fire up a real grill, go for it. I don’t go to that much trouble for just bread. I use smoking hot pan on the stovetop.


sturdy bread, cut into ½-inch thick slices (I usually have some rustic loaf from La Brea Bakery)
2 garlic cloves
olive oil


Heat a large frying pan over high heat. (If you’re actually using a grill, even better.)

Drizzle both sides of each slice of bread with a little olive oil. Place in hot pan until lightly browned, turn over and brown other side.

Rub grilled bread on both sides with garlic clove.

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  • Willow Arlen

    Haha – brilliantly said. The imagery of a “refrigerator biscuit dough knit jersey twist can” is pretty amazing.

    Also, I’m a huge fan of caesar salads, but would never have thought to make one with kale… will have to give this a try! :)

  • managedmacros

    I LOVE it! I want it NOW! My previous post was just on Kale Caesar but I have to admit…this one looks so much better, absolutely beautiful!!

  • braided

    honesty is superimp. – which reminds me of this one time at band camp i was getting my hair did for a special occassion and the hairdresser cracked out on aqua net and ultrastrong perm solution improvised a super large scary braid reminiscent of something krissy from 3s company would wear to go rollerskating so i turned to my friend and asked her what she thought feeling sure she would be the one to gently break it to the cracked out ho that this was all kinds of wrong and she said, that looks … great. and smiled. honesty. is such a lonely word.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510157676 Sarah J. Gim

      what a terrible friend. though i have seen on pinterest, my source for all things related to style and beauty, that braids are very on trend. as is wine in styrofoam cups.

    • thestylistquo

      Did you mean honest is superpimp? Because if you did, I think that’s the best sentence I’ve heard all month, and I’m going to steal it hard.

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