Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Kale joins romaine lettuce in an almost classic Caesar Salad recipe — crunchy, refreshing and satisifying.


Do you ever have those days when your body is craving greens? Usually the day after I’ve overindulged in heavy starchy foods, I’m jonesing for greens, the darker the better. Once when I was feeling this way I had a dream about spinach salad. It’s funny how our bodies talk to us even in our sleep.

This kale and romaine Caesar salad does the trick. It’s a recipe from the Kalyn’s Kitchen blog, so you know, if you know Kalyn’s blog, it’s healthy. She doesn’t use eggs in the dressing, so you don’t have to worry about cholesterol or salmonella.

And please, please, please, don’t omit the anchovies. I know some of you don’t like anchovies but you can’t taste them in the dressing, I promise. I know that’s hard to believe considering how “aromatic” anchovies are, but it’s true. My guy hates anchovies, but he scarfs up this salad. So why add anchovies if you can’t taste them? Because they add umami, the fifth taste (the others are sweet, salty, sour and bitter).

Umami gives food a savory, meaty or mouth-filling character. Many foods add a boost of umami to a recipe, for example, soy sauce, aged cheese (like Parmesan or Gruyere), fish sauce (made with stinky fermented fish!), shiitake mushrooms, scallops, lobster, Worcestershire sauce (made with anchovies), cured hams and salami, and many more.

Many tomato sauce recipes will call for an anchovy or two to deepen the flavor. I’ve also seen anchovies in recipes for stews and braised dishes.

If you’re still not convinced, let’s make a deal, throw in only one or two small anchovy fillets – the usual amount is about triple that – and see if you can taste them in the dressing. If you end up loving this recipe as much as I do, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get even bolder with anchovies.

Kale Romaine Caesar Salad recipe | Grabbing the Gusto

Kale Romaine Caesar Salad | Grabbing the Gusto

Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad

You’ll need an immersion blender with mixing container (my choice), blender or food processor (mini is best), and a large serving bowl.

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon folded-up anchovies or anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4-5 ounces romaine lettuce, washed and dried, roughly chopped into bite-size pieces – I didn’t weigh my romaine or kale, I filled up my serving bowl, leaving room for tossing, with equal amounts of each, and had more than enough salad dressing.
  • 4-5 ounces kale, center spine removed if large, washed and dried, roughly chopped into bite-size pieces

In a blender, mini or regular food processor, or the mixing glass of an immersion blender, combine the lemon juice, anchovies, garlic and Dijon and pulse together a few times. Then add the olive oil one or two tablespoons at a time, pulsing for a few seconds after each addition. 

Stir in 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Put dressing in the refrigerator and chill until ready to use, or if you want to make the salad right away, chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so.

Combine the romaine and kale in a large bowl, big enough to thoroughly toss the salad. Add a few tablespoons of dressing and toss, repeating until all the salad greens are very lightly coated with dressing. You may not need all the dressing and can save it for later salads. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan to the salad and toss again. 

It’s best to eat this right away. Like any dressed salad, it will get soggier the longer it sits.

Original recipe: Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad, Kalyn’s Kitchen

3 thoughts on “Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad

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