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True Confessions: Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing and New Potatoes


September 5, 2012

Recipe: Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing and New Potatoes

The conversation went something like this. In fact, it went exactly like this.

“BTW, apropos of nothing, deep down I find it hard to believe anyone actually likes kale. Kale sucks. At best it is edible. At worst it taste like kale. F*ck kale.”

So went the text message tirade from a friend of mine, furious at having received yet another bundle of kale in his CSA box. Up until last week I would have felt exactly the same way. Actually, I did feel the same way. Every time my CSA box would arrive there the kale would sit…staring at me in its infinite leafiness, daring me to try to think of something to do with it before, upon being neglected, it would wilt pitifully away until in a fit of rage and guilt I would toss it in the compost and vow…next time…next time…I’m going to use up everything in my CSA box…everything!

Look who came to visit this weekend! Deacon Dog, formerly known as Scuba Steve…an 11th hour rescue by Georgia Peaches who saved him from being put to sleep.

Not anymore though…for thanks to reading two of my favorite blogs, Katherine Martinelli and Natalie’s Daily Crave I came up with the ultimate hybrid…a delicious potato salad tossed with a Caesar inspired dressing, and bulked out with beautiful, dark leafy kale. Even the most avid of kale haters will like this salad, finding themselves deeply conflicted as they cherry pick out the kale, not to avoid it, but to get more than their fair share.

Admittedly, the kale is somewhat buoyed by serving as a Caesar dressing delivery system, but does provide an undeniably lovely contrast to the new potatoes, and thanks to its robust stature holds up beautifully until the next day, making it a perfect make-ahead salad for a dog days of summer picnic, or BBQ side.

What’s your least favorite vegetable you get in your CSA box?

Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing and New Potatoes
Inspired by Katherine Martinelli and Natalie’s Daily Crave

Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing and New Potatoes

Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing: I guarantee, even the most vehement kale haters will enjoy this.

8 cups new potatoes, washed, bad spots removed, and halved
2 egg yolks
1-2 anchovies
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced fine
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Parmesan grated + more for topping
Salt and Pepper
1 large bunch dinosaur kale, washed, and coarsely chopped

  1. In a large pot, cover the potatoes completely with water and add lid. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then reduce heat to a medium-low and cook until fork tender, about 5-7 minutes, pending on size. Do not overcook. As soon as they are done strain and rinse with cool water to prevent cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender combine the egg yolks, anchovies, lemon, garlic, and Dijon. Pulse until well-combined. Adding in a slow stream with blender running combine the oils until dressing is emulsified. Add in the Parmesan and pulse just until combined.
  3. Toss potatoes with the dressing, add in the kale, and season with salt and pepper. Delicious warm, chilled, or even the next day.


  1. emmycooks says:

    I want this right now. I quite like all greens. The thing I always want to trade out of my CSA box is the root half of the beets–but I’m conflicted because I like the tops so much.

  2. Allison says:

    Looks wonderful! But then again, I love kale in all its incarnations…

    I was wanting to trade out the fennel in my CSA box for weeks in a row, but only because it KEPT appearing there, with no respite! (And though I like it, I don’t have as varied a repertoire with fennel as I do with most other CSA goodies… like kale!)

    • Another Kale lover…are you sure? Do you really, really love kale or have you just been taught to believe that? 🙂

      The fennel was also a frequent appearer in our box and it did get a little old. I did a lot of slow roasting it and then topping things with it, like pizza. Also, this is a great fennel recipe if you like mushrooms:

      Shaved Fennel Salad with Crimini and Parmesan

    • Allison says:

      Nice, thanks to both of you for the fennel recipes! Actually shaved fennel salads were the only way I was using up my fennel, but next summer I’ll try slow roasting it for pizza, too.

      And yes, Erina, I really, really love kale! I still haven’t blogged about the way I first fell in love with it, but I am planning to sometime this fall: kale sauteed then steamed in olive oil and garlic (then adding lemon/lime juice and black pepper afterwards), on top of a bowl of rice, with a fried egg on top. But even without the egg above it or the rice below it, I still think it’s delicious (sometimes I just have the steamed kale with grated parmesan on top). Oh and don’t hate me for saying this, but I also love kale chips 🙂

      • Oh my gawd…..Kale Chips?!?!?

        Kidding, kidding…kind of.

        The rice, kale, egg combo sounds right up my alley…see, this is why I love other food bloggers! You get such fabulous ideas and inspirations!

      • Wait…one question..did you really mean sauteed and then steamed? Or steamed and then sauteed?

      • Allison says:

        Haha, I know… And I love the inspiration I get from other food bloggers, too!

        Here’s how I make the kale– and why I (oddly) described it as “sauteed then steamed”:

        Rinse the kale, but don’t bother patting it dry. De-stem and roughly chop the leaves. In a large stockpot (with a lid), heat 2 Tbsp. or so of olive oil and 1 minced clove of garlic over medium-high heat, then toss in the kale leaves– which might completely fill the pot, but will really cook down– and stir to coat them in olive oil/garlic. Then, pour in 1/4 cup of water (or broth, etc.), put on the lid, and turn down the heat to low. This will effectively “steam” the kale in that little bit of liquid, without requiring a steamer tray or anything. Let it steam for 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice (or not), then season with a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and black pepper. Keep warm by transferring to a bowl and covering with a plate (rather than leaving it in the pot– so it doesn’t overcook), and serve over rice with an egg on top (or not).

  3. Keisha says:

    I love kale!! I especially love to eat kale roasted. This looks absolutely delicious…I cant wait to try it!

  4. Yum yum yum!! I love this hybrid. Sounds like the perfect caesar dressing delivery system 🙂 I have the best of all worlds csa-type thing – it’s an organic farm delivery that has zero commitment and I just order what I want every week! As much as I like being challenged by mystery items, given the option I’ll do it this way.

  5. Madeline says:

    Ah this sounds amazing! I am always trying to figure out things to do with Kale that don’t involve the trash can. YAY!

  6. Keisha….you are one of the few people who I think actually loves kale!! How do you do it roasted?

    • Keisha says:

      I usually wash the kale really well and chop the leaves. Then I toss the leaves with some olive oil,salt,pepper and minced garlic then place on foil lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

  7. SusanH says:

    OK. I’m one who genuinely loves, loves kale. One great way to make kale salad a little more palatable is to massage it first! Tear it up and rinse it in a colander, dump in a couple tablespoons of salt, and massage with your hands for two minutes. The massaging breaks down the fibers a little so it’s not so tough to chew. Then rinse off the salt, dress with lemon juice & olive oil, top with craisins and sunflower seeds. Unlike plain lettuce, you can dress this salad and keep it in the fridge for a few days; it doesn’t get limp and soggy.

  8. Hannah says:

    Ok, another kale lover here, Erina! Admittedly, I do love all greens, and what I appreciate with kale is that you can roast it, steam it, throw it in a soup, eat it raw…very versatile and as you mentioned, it stands up to dressing over time. A favorite kale salad of mine is the Emerald City salad at PCC – I could eat it everyday. I love the salad you’ve shared here and will make it very soon. Fava beans are hard for me to get in a CSA box more than one time. They are tedious to prepare! This summer I discovered grilling them whole and then everyone pops out their own beans to eat. Still, not a huge fan.

    • Thanks Hannah!! You, Susan, and the rest of the gang are making a pretty convincing argument here…maybe this was just the first step towards my Kale Team Building exercises!


      As for Fava Beans I have never, ever cooked with them! If they show up in my CSA box, I’m calling you for tips on how to handle!

  9. Eileen says:

    Oh man, I love kale! I will totally take the kale off your friend’s hands! 🙂 This salad does sound like a perfect way to eat kale, especially if you’re not into simple sauteed kale with garlic (my standard–we eat this all winter). Kale pesto is definitely on the menu too!

  10. Can’t wait to try this! I’ve been addicted to a similar salad with green beans, potatoes, mixed greens and dijon vinaigrette. This looks great and kale is SO good for you!

  11. Yum! Erina, I am one of those die-hard Kale lovers and not because I was taught to like it. I love all leafy greens and I find Kale and Collards so versatile and delicious!

  12. omg that looks so yummy! just discovered you blog and I love it! I’m your newest follower – hope you can check me out too! : )

  13. Ann Mah says:

    Oh, I love kale! Especially after four years in France, which is, curiously, a kale-free zone. I was so excited to see scads of it at the farmer’s market this morning!

  14. Wendy says:

    I was just blessed with the kale bounty from a friend’s garden. And yes, I’m in the camp that considers kale a blessing. This sounds like a great new way to enjoy it! I’m happy to benefit from your challenge 🙂

  15. Kale Caesar says:

    […] when Erina from Shut Up & Cook posted a Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing, I knew all hell had broken loose. A prior self-proclaimed, “Kale Hater”, I knew that […]

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