I came relatively late to kale salads, but now they're my favorite way to eat kale. At Spinnaker's, a gastro-pub in Victoria, my favorite dish on their menu is their kale salad. They do a Caear spin on it and garnish it with bacon and focaccia croutons. I wanted to recreate the salad at home, but along the way I deviated a bit from the Spinnaker's salad.
Some people I have served kale salads to do not like the raw texture, but I found that if some hot ingredients were added to the raw kale, it wilts just enough to tone down the grassy chewiness. I kept the capers in the dressing, but upped the umami quotient with a good dose of lemon and anchovy. I have been a fan of roasted onions ever since Merrill posted her recipe for Tomao Salad with Corn, Summer Squash and Roasted Onions. Now I am never without them in my refrigerator. I have adapted her recipe slightly, lowering the heat to prevent burning and adding a flavor boost from fresh thyme and rosemary. Despite a few steps (making croutons, and roasting onions), this dish comes together fairly quickly. —cookinginvictoria
This is an amazingly flavorful spin on kale! I love the contrast of the salty anchovies with the tangy lemon juice in the dressing; the flavors are balanced, and they soften the kale nicely. The herb-infused onions add a different texture and slight sweetness to the mix; when juxtaposed with the umami flavor of the bacon, they round out the salad perfectly. The crunch of the croutons and softness of the cheese made the texture interesting, ensuring that each bite is different. —Elle Bran