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Healthy Eating, Salads, Vegetarian

Kale "Caesar"

Kale "Caesar"
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Kale is about as unlikely a food star as you can imagine. It's tough and fibrous. Bite a piece of raw kale and you'll practically end up with splinters between your teeth. Nevertheless, kale has become a green of the ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, split in half lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 pound kale
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated or shaved with a vegetable peeler

Step 1Toast the bread crumbs: Combine them in a small saucepan with the garlic, lemon zest and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to coat well. There should be only a light trace of oil in the bottom of the pan. Season with a pinch of salt and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs have darkened and toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a small bowl and set them aside to cool slightly.

Step 2Remove and discard the stems from the kale. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Grab the leaves by the handful and massage them roughly. Don't be timid. After a minute or two, the coarse, stiff leaves will turn soft and silky. You'll have about half the volume of kale you started with.

Step 3Add the toasted bread crumbs and lemon juice and toss well. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice if necessary. Arrange on separate salad plates or on a platter and sprinkle grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano over top.


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