This year J and I spent a good amount of time and money on making a little indoor garden. We planted all sorts of herbs and then swiss chard and kale, thinking they would be good as leaves in salads and when they got bigger we could cook them.
Then we got aphids.
A lot of our plants died.
Jordan gave up on indoor gardening.
Out swiss chard and our kale survived but 6 months in they still haven’t really turned into the big rustic plants we were hoping for, but they do produce some lovely little salad leaves.
So I knew what we were having for dinner when I was flipping through my Tartine Bread book for inspiration and stumbled upon a kale ceasar salad. Now I know that this may sound crazy to some of you who like your ceasars laden with mayo and super crispy romaine, but this salad is alarmingly good. The kale has this rustic nuttiness, and it really stands up wonderfully to the robust flavours of the anchovies and garlic.
Because I can’t get away with just serving salad for dinner we ate this with a flatiron steak and man was it a good combination.
1 bunch of Kale, or a few big handfuls of of baby kale (see note)
2 Anchovy fillets, minced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg Yolk
2 tsp Grainy Dijon
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
6 inches of a baguette, it can, maybe should, be a little stale.
1 Flatiron steak.
Salt and Pepper
Note: If you can’t find baby kale this salad is still delicious, in fact we used half and half. But the adult kale has a very stiff chewy centre so pull the soft leaves away from the big vein in the back and then tear them into bite sized pieces.
Marinate your steak in salt and pepper and leave it wrapped at room temperature.
In a small frying pan on medium-low heat warm up about a tablespoon of the olive oil.
Gently start to cook your anchovies in the olive oil breaking them down with the back of a spoon until they begin to dissolve.
Add in the garlic and cook gently until it just becomes fragrant but hasn’t started to brown at all. Pour this mix into a bowl and put it in the fridge to cool.
(sorry I forgot to take pictures at this stage!)
Meanwhile make the dressing; mix the yolk, the dijon and a little squeeze of lemon into a bowl.
Whisk it together vigorously and while you do slowly slowly start to add in your vegetable oil. If it ever looks streaky stop adding in the oil and keep whisking.
Once you’ve added in about half of the oil add the rest of the lemon juice. Then whisk in the rest of the oil, and about half of the olive oil. It should be a smooth creamy sauce. Now add in the anchovy mixture, whisking vigorously again. Add in the parmesan.Check your seasoning, you may need more salt or lemon.
In a large saute pan pour in the remaining olive oil and bring to a medium heat. Cut the baguette into big chunks and fry them up with a generous sprinkling of salt until they are crispy and golden brown and delicious.
Now, heat a frying pan or a grill pan if you have one to a high heat, pour a little olive oil in and fry up your steak however you like it. For medium rare it usually takes about 5 minutes per side for a flatiron. Then let the steak sit for 5 minutes. this lets the juices run back into the steak so when you cut it open it doesn’t all pour out. Slice your steak up into strips if you’d like.
Now toss the salad, put the croutons on top and lay the steak beside it. Doesn’t that look good?