If you want to talk about entertaining with minimal effort and maximum effect, Paul Lowe is your guy. The food stylist-turned-blogger has fans of his online magazine, Sweet Paul, all over the world. Channel his simple, elegant style through simple crafts and recipes and make your next party a memorable one. You’ll never suffer through a limp, boring chicken Caesar salad again.
Caesar has always been my favorite Roman and my favorite salad. History books and PBS period dramas always make the ruler look chic. I’ve taken the Roman salute “Hail Caesar!” and made this salad in homage. Nutritious and tasty kale stands in for the more pedestrian romaine lettuce. Toasted pine nuts add crunch, along with homemade croutons. Be sure to cut out the tough stalks of the kale. I also find it best to give the leaves a gentle massage to loosen up the fibers, then place the kale in icy water to make it super crisp.
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 slices good bread
- 8 - 10 Tuscan kale leaves
- 1/2 cup parmesan, shaved
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon shallot, finely chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and let rest while you make the salad.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the middle position.
- Cut off the crusts of the bread and cut the bread into 1/2-inch-thick strips.
- Place it on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and bake until the croutons are golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Cut off and discard the stems of the kale and cut the rest into thin strips.
- Gently massage the kale to break up the fibers a bit, then soak the leaves in a bowl of ice water.
- Slice the chicken.
- Dry the kale with paper towels and divide it among four bowls.
- Add the croutons, sliced chicken, Parmesan and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a jar or small bowl, shake or mix the remaining 1/2 cup oil, mustard, vinegar and shallot until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and serve.
Find more Caesar salads on Food Republic: