So I know that kale recipes are a huge thing on the internet but here is South Africa we tend to catch onto food trends a little late. Although I had sourced kale years ago at a speciality green grocer to make the highly controversial kale chips (I added Parmesan cheese and I loved them by the way), it is only recently that you could find kale in a mainstream supermarket.
I’m pretty pleased about this.
Eating kale raw makes me feel like a halo suddenly sparkles above my head and I’m giving my body so much goodness from a fibre to iron, to every-kind-of-health-benefit imaginable. It also tastes pretty delicious.
I do think when its raw it needs to be generously coated with a flavour packed dressing with lots of acidity to help break down the texture slightly, and I immediately looked to my new all time favorite ‘Caesars salad dressing’. Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe I posted a while back, this dressing has become a staple in my house. I use basil pesto if I don’t have fresh basil leaves on hand and this works equally well, if not better. I reduced his quantity of lemon juice to one tablespoon as I felt it was far too lemony and I have added olive oil because I think the dressing needs the unctuousness. As for the yoghurt, I use either low-fat plain yoghurt, or what is even tastier, full fat Greek style yoghurt.
This salad dressing turns any kind of green leaf into a taste sensation.
I am in no way saying that this replaces my adoration for a classic Caesars salad, but I think this is somewhat healthier. Also variations is good. The best part about this dressing is that the Parmesan cheese, anchovies, lemon and other seasonings are all mixed in so you don’t need much else to make a fantastic salad. In fact I generally only use leaves and croutons.
For this salad I used mainly kale, but added a few torn leaves of rainbow chard and a small handful of baby spinach leaves to soften things up. I bought a ready-roasted rotisserie chicken, because this is another staple item in my house. It’s Monday and I love to buy a roasted bird at the beginning of the week to include in my lunches and salads.
The dressing makes enough for one big salad, but I generally just use what I need and keep in the fridge for a week or so. Adapt the quantities depending on how many mouths you want to feed.
Recipe – makes a big salad
- One large bowlful of torn kale, chard and baby spinach leaves (mainly kale) veins removed – about 3 litres of loosely packed leaves
- 2 cups of croutons – ready-made or make your own with my crouton recipe
- slices of roast chicken meat from 1/2 – a full chicken depending how many you need to feed
- Additional Parmesan cheese shavings to serve – optional
- 110ml greek yoghurt
- 1Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 anchovies
- 1Tbsp Worsteshire sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2Tbsp basil pesto
- 1Tblsp fresh lemon juice
- 40g Parmesan cheese grated
- 3Tbsp olive oil
- Pepper to taste
Place all the dressing ingredients in a small food processor and mix to combine. If you are making it by hand, grind the anchovies to a paste before.
in a large mixing bowl coat the kale and spinach leaves generously with the dressing and allow to stand for about 3 minutes. Add the croutons and toss again to coat. The leaves will soften and wilt slightly when the dressing is added.
Tip this out into a serving platter or large bowl and cover the salad with the sliced roast chicken pieces.