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In some circles the kale salad is probably passe already, but let’s just agree not to be so hip that we can’t enjoy a good thing, ok? I was briefly missing this summer’s Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums, but it has already been replaced in my affections by this new winter favorite. It’s from the Skillet Cookbook, a new release from my local hipster diner, the Skillet Diner. I go to the diner just for this kale salad. I bought the cookbook just for this kale salad. I love this kale salad.The salad is bold in both flavor and texture. You’ll want to use lacinato (a.k.a. dinosaur) kale here, which is a little more delicate than a curly or Red Russian kale. The dressing is lemony and creamy, and I like a little bit of anchovy in there although you could do without (and then it’s vegan if made with an eggless mayonnaise and vegan Worcestershire sauce). The one part you absolutely can’t skip, however, is making the peppery homemade croutons.
Kale Caesar Salad (adapted from the Skillet Cookbook; original recipe here): Wash and dry a big bunch of lacinato kale, remove the stems, and slice it into ribbons. Make your croutons by chopping 4 slices of bread into 1″ cubes (I like challah or whole wheat croutons); toss with 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Set aside to cool.
In a big salad bowl, whisk together 1/4 c. mayonnaise, a small minced clove of garlic, the zest and juice of half a lemon, 1/4 tsp. dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt, a shower of black pepper, and 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (optional). Toss kale ribbons with dressing, then taste and adjust flavors with more salt, pepper, or lemon if needed. Add croutons and toss again. Optional: serve topped with grilled salmon or a poached or fried egg.
More Favorite Winter Salads:
Kale Salad with Apples, Currants, and Gorgonzola
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon, Pecorino, and Red Onion
Orange-Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
These recipes and more can be found on my new emmycooks.com Vegetarian Thanksgiving Pinterest board. Come visit!