Sunday, September 16, 2012

Restaurant (Re)creation: Tartine's Kale Caesar

The bread at Tartine Bakery is legendary and sells out within an hour almost every day.  While I LOVE their bread, I am still of the mindset that I would rather buy it than make it.  So buy it I do!  The best part is, you don't have to eat it all in one day one at the risk of having to throw it out once it is no longer fresh.  Their day-old bread is perfect for homemade croutons.  Really any day-old high quality bread will do.  These croutons pair perfectly with most salads, but especially this kale caesar below.  I just got Red Russian Kale delivered in my vegetable box from Albert & Eve and it was the perfect incentive to try out this recipe.  I got it straight from The Tartine Bread Cookbookand made just one small change.  I used fewer anchovies in the dressing than the recipe calls for, since I'm not a huge anchovy fan, but other than that, it's true to the original.  The recipe is fairly simple, healthy, and the perfect addition to a weekday meal.  Plus, you don't have to wait in long line at Tartine to enjoy this- you can have it in the comfort or your own kitchen.  What could be better?

Serves 4-6


For the croutons:

  • 4 slices day-old country bread (or any rustic baguette)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt

For the Caesar dressing:

  • 2 lemons
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 5 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Salt
  • 2 cups olive oil

For the salad:

  • 2 lbs kale, center stem removed
  • 2/3 cup shaved aged parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Tear bread into 1 1/2 inch chunks and toss with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Spread the bread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from head and set aside.

To make the dressing, grate the zest from 1 lemon.  Put the garlic, anchovies, and lemon zest in a mortar and pestle and pound to make a thick paste.

Add the egg yolk, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice and stir to combine.  While stirring, pour in 1/2 cup of the oil a little bit at a time.  The mixture should look smooth and creamy.  Continue adding the oil as you stir until the dressing thickens, adding squeezes of lemon periodically.  Add salt and lemon juice to taste and add water (one spoonful at a time) until dressing thins to the consistency of heavy cream.

Combine kale and croutons in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over the kale and toss.  Top with Parmesan and serve immediately.


Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 487-2600

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