Known as Insalata Di Cesare Toscano, you’ve never had a Caesar salad like this one before. Tuscan kale makes a great, hearty, healthy substitute for romaine lettuce. Homemade dressing, bacon bits
and croutons made of tender brioche bread complete the salad perfectly.
Serves 4 to 6
6 cups (1.4 L) garden-grown Tuscan kale, chopped (remove stems if fibrous)
1 head blond frisée lettuce, chopped (if you can’t find it, use romaine)
1 loaf brioche bread (if you can’t find it, use challah or any rich egg bread)
Parmigiano cheese (as needed)
2 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Extra-virgin olive oil (as needed)
6 strips of good-quality bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled & cooled if desired
For the Dressing (makes approximately 1 L)
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1/4 cup (60 mL) buttermilk
2 free-run organic eggs, hard-boiled
1 tbsp (14 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tbsp (14 mL) capers
3 white anchovy fillets, packed in oil
2 cloves local garlic
1 large lemon, juiced
1/4 cup (60 mL) Niagara Riesling vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 cup (250 mL) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
A good lug of Worcestershire sauce
2 whole gherkins
2 tbsp (30 mL) gherkin juice
1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika
1/2 handful chopped parsley
- To make the croutons, pull the bread into large, bite-sized chunks.
- Combine Parmigiano, thyme, crushed garlic and olive oil, and toss the bread chunks in the mixture.
- Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350°F until golden brown. Let cool.
- Combine all dressing ingredients (see left) in a blender, blend until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Combine kale and a liberal amount of dressing in a bowl. Massage the kale with dressing.
- Add the frisée, croutons and bacon. Toss gently.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano and extra-virgin olive oil.