Kale Caesar Salad with Candy Cane Beets and Parmesan-Brioche Croutons
The perfect first course, side dish, or vegetarian main for holiday entertaining!
Caesar Salad is typically made with Romaine lettuce and the dressing is classically made with a coddled egg (an egg in its shell briefly immersed in simmering water to thicken and slightly cook the yolk). Most people don’t have time for that, and worry about the potential presence of bacteria in the egg anyhow. This ILOC version replaces the Romaine with baby kale and makes a quick creamy dressing using store-bought mayonnaise. You can buy the croutons, too, but the following recipe is so easy, it’s worth giving it a try.
Equipment: cutting board; bread knife; sheet pan; rubber spatula; cooling rack; chef’s knife; mandolin; mixing bowls; measuring spoons; dry measuring cup; reamer or fork; whisk; mircroplane
for the croutons:
3 slices of brioche ¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
for the Caesar salad:
6 cups baby kale, washed and dried 3 candy cane beets, peeled, and sliced thin on the mandoline ¼ cup mayonnaise juice of one lemon 2 tablespoons olive oil 6 anchovy filets, finely chopped (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce extra Parmesan for garnish
1. To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut each brioche slice into ½-inch cubes and place on a sheet pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Drizzle with melted butter and toss well to coat. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Then add the Parmesan, toss well to coat, and return to the oven for a final 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and set aside (or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week).
2 . To make the salad, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, optional anchovies, garlic Parmesan, and Worcestershire in a large bowl. Add the kale and candy cane beets, and toss well to coat. Add croutons and garnish with grated Parmesan.
Makes 4 servings.
ILOC tip: place the candy cane beets in an ice bath one hour before you plan to serve the salad. They'll become crispy and crunchy! Be sure to drain them on paper towels first so that your salad does not become watery. Remember, it's all about technique, not torture!