We all know that kale is the latest rage and is now considered a “superfood”. The first place I ever had a kale salad was at Houston’s. A friend of mine who doesn’t typically eat “leafy greens” said it was fantastic and recommended it to me. She wasn’t kidding! Ever since then, I have typically ordered a kale salad when I have gone out to eat. I was at Marlow’s Tavern recently and ordered their kale caesar salad with grilled chicken. It was outstanding! It came with chopped boiled eggs. Interesting twist, I thought. A few days later, I was eating with some friends at Garrisons. I ordered their caesar salad and it came with delicious polenta croutons. My brain went into overdrive and I decided to try to combine the concepts of these three salads into one. What I came up with is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 45 min. plus an hour to cool
For the salad:
kale ( I use the mix from Costco)
hard boiled eggs, chopped
Caesar dressing (I use Girard’s Light Caesar)
For the Polenta:
3 c. water
1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
2. tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1/3 c. shredded parmesan
Preparing Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons:
Before you make the salad, you need to make the polenta. Here’s how: Put water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring often until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the cayenne pepper, salt, olive oil and pepper. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the polenta into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Let cool. (After it is no longer warm to the touch, I put it in the refrigerator from about 15 minutes).
Preheat oven to 450 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove polenta from refrigerator and cut into small squares. Place the squares on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the polenta and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until polenta is crisp and evenly brown on all sides.
Once the polenta croutons are ready, grab a bowl and put in desired amounts of kale, eggs, and dressing. Mix well and plate the salad. Add tomato, avocado, cheese and croutons!
Make sure your polenta is really cool before cutting and baking it.
Add a piece of grilled chicken if you’re wanting to add some protein!