Although some people will associate the Caesar Salad with Italian cooking, its true origins are in Tijuana, Mexico. We love the flavors of this updated Caesar Salad with kale for romaine lettuce, warm cotjia cheese croutons, and poached lemon peel.
Kale Caesar Salad
Serves 3 to 4
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly on a mandoline
1 bunch organic, tender black (dino) kale, washed,
stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup Caesar Dressing (see recipe)
30 threads Poached Lemon Peel (see recipe)
3 ounces cotija cheese, broken into crouton sized pieces*
Heat 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed skillet to 350 degrees F. Carefully drop garlic into oil, gently stir constantly until edges begin to brown. Remove immediately and drain on paper towel, salt to taste.
Using your hands massage the dressing into the kale, making sure to squeeze the greens in your hand so that you
really work in the dressing. Toss in the Poached Lemon Peels and crispy garlic chips. In the hot oil drop crouton size pieces of cotija into the fryer until golden brown. Drain on paper towel, and finish salad with warm cotjia croutons.
Poached Lemon Peel
3 lemons, washed in warm water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 teapsoon salt
Remove zest from lemons without any of the bitter, white pith. Cut into 2-inch julienne strips. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil and add zest. Return to a boil, remove from heat and let sit at room temperature 20 minutes.
2 flat salted anchovies
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine or cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender. Add oil slowly until emulsified. Add cheese and season liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
* Cacique cheese is a great choice. We’ve been using them at Border Grill for over 20 years.