Kale Caesar Salad
Why This Recipe Works
Kale is closing in on romaine as the Caesar salad green of choice; the hearty, nutrient-dense leaves, with their pungent earthiness, pair surprisingly well with the tangy Caesar dressing—perhaps even better than romaine. While raw kale may sound healthiest, we learned that soaking the kale slightly helps to break down the fibrous cell walls, making nutrients such as vitamins A and C and iron more available for absorption. A 10-minute soak in warm water did the trick and also tenderized the kale. How else could we improve on the salad? We traded white-bread croutons for whole-grain; their rustic chew tasted right at home in our bowl. At first, an egg-based dressing sounded like the way to go, but we found a thicker mayonnaise-based dressing stood up better to the greens. What to do? We cut half of the mayonnaise with yogurt, then decreased the oil to just 2 tablespoons. We added three anchovy fillets, which brought savoriness and healthy omega-3 fats. Decreasing the Parmesan lowered saturated fat without sacrificing the cheese's nutty flavor. With our dressing reworked, the salad was ready to toss; we did, and gave it a 20-minute rest to blend flavors before serving.