A new salad with a secret ingredient that makes all the difference.
It's probably no surprise by now that I love salad. Out of all of them, though, Caesar salad is one of my top favorites.
Last summer while out for our anniversary, I ordered a kale caesar and it came out with an anchovy on top. True to form, this excited me because a) I like fish, b) bold moves like that make me happy and c) I’m weird.
When we came back to the same restaurant a few months later, though, the anchovy was no longer on top. When I asked the waiter why it disappeared, he said it freaked people out. I guess I really am weird.
But -- in my opinion-- if that anchovy is what makes Caesar dressing so great why not flaunt it?? Thanks to that anchovy, the lemony mayonnaise base has a rich finish. If it’s done right, there shouldn’t be any overpowering fishy flavor to the salad.
Of course, the first thing I wanted to eat when we got back to the states after our most recent Europe trip was a Caesar salad. I loved the side salads they had over there, but like the annoying American I am, I was craving a huge bowl of greens. Sensible salad portions and me don’t always go together.
I ordered a said Caesar salad at the Salt Lake City airport when waiting for our connecting flight to Denver. A few days later, though, I was back to craving a savory lemon dressing when throwing together a kale salad. I ran through some ideas of how to add that dimension but was coming up short. Sundried tomatoes? Too much acid added to an already acidic dressing. Green olives? Possibly, but more of a briny flavor than a rich one. Golden raisins? Okay, looks like I’m getting a bit carried away here.
Then during yoga class, as life would have it, the kale caesar from last summer came back to me. Taking the cue, I stopped by the store on the way home and picked up some anchovies to blend into my dressing.
The Salad Verdict
To check against my bias, I make one salad with the anchovy in the dressing and another one without. I then asked Chris to blind taste test them for me. The clear winner? The anchovy dressing. He liked the depth and confirmed there was no weird aftertaste. When I revealed the secret ingredient he was surprised but still wanted more.
Thus, this Kale and Broccoli Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing was born. A salad this annoying American and her husband can't get enough of.
Kale and Broccoli Salad With Lemon Parmesan Dressing Cooking Notes:
- Anchovy can be removed for a vegetarian option but otherwise, I highly recommend against it. Just like Caesar salad dressing, you likely won’t even notice any fish flavor. Instead, it just rounds out the dressing with a full finish.
Kale and Broccoli Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing
- 3 cups packed lacinato kale
- 2 cups chopped broccoli heads
- 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ Teaspoon salt
- 1 small clove garlic or ½ large garlic clove
- 3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese + additional cheese for garnish
- pinch- 1/8 Teaspoon - ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 Teaspoon anchovy omit for vegetarian option
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Add the lemon juice through anchovy (if using) to a food processor or blender and process on medium speed for 15-30 seconds, or until the garlic and anchovy are completely pureed into the dressing.
- Pour dressing over veggies and toss until all the greens are evenly coated with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 12) and serve. This additional chilling time will help to tenderize the kale further and let the dressing flavors penetrate the veggies.
- Garnish with any additional parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper and serve.