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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kale Cesar Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

3 years ago I ate a dinner at my mothers house in which she served me a cesar salad with her out of this world cesar salad dressing; and ever since the day I tasted THAT dressing I have been dying to use it for every salad I ever make. It is THAT good! I am use to making all of my own vinaigrettes but I have never attempted a cesar salad dressing nor ever really thought of making one...that is until I tasted moms. So this recipe is in homage to my mother and her stellar cooking skills!

I decided to go a little unconventional for my lettuce choice and paired this ever so divine dressing with fresh chopped kale, homemade roasted red and green peppers and homemade croutons.

Kale Cesar Salad Dressing with Roasted Red Peppers and Homemade Croutons
2 bunches of Kale
3-4 bell peppers
Stale or fresh loaf of bread
Parmesan for garnish

2 anchovies
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon juiced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese 
2 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place whole bell peppers onto a baking sheet and bake for 17 minutes, turn bell peppers onto opposite side and bake for an additional 17 minutes or until charring occurs on skins. Remove peppers from the oven and place in a bowl and cover tightly with tin foil or saran wrap and let sweat for 20 minutes. 

Once cooled remove bell peppers, peel off the skin, remove the stem and seeds. After having had their steam bath in the bowl the skin of the peppers should slide off with little or no effort on your part. Don't worry if you don't get it all off. Slice peppers into thin strips and reserve for salad.

While you are waiting for your peppers to sweat you can prepare and bake your croutons. Keep your oven set at 350 degrees. I slice my stale or fresh bread, depending on what I have on hand, into 1-1 1/2 inch slices then cut each slice into large cubes. I like to play around with different flavored breads like garlic or rosemary, to add some extra flavor to the dish that I am using them for. I place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. I salt the bread fairly well at this point. Place your bread in the oven and bake for 15 minutes then remove the pan and turn every bread cube over onto another side to brown for an additional 15 minutes. Set croutons aside to cool.

Place anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, egg yolks, parmesan cheese and water into a food processor or blender and blend until everything is incorporated. While your blender in running drizzle in your olive oil and blend until smooth, creamy and thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

Wash your kale leaves and pat dry. Remove leafy parts from the ribs and chop into manageable pieces. Place in salad bowl and add your roasted bell peppers and croutons. Drizzle salad dressing over salad and toss to combine. Shave off slivers of Parmesan cheese to garnish and enjoy!

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