Friday night dinners at Casa Davidson circa the mid-2000s were a blur. Be it a football game night where everyone fended for themselves, a Papa Murphy's pizza or a Costco lasagna type of night, times were a busy and moving quite literally a mile a minute.
Even in the busiest of times with an ever-changing Friday dinner menu, there was always one constant: Caesar salad. We ate Caesar salads in the Davidson household so often, my mom bought Caesar fixins – croutons, Parm, romaine and dressing – in bulk from Costco. Cheesy, tangy and full of crunchy croutons, it was consistently a delicious and quick side dish to throw on the dinner table that always put a smile on our face.
Having it as frequently as I did growing up, it's easy to understand why I have such an affinity for it now. While I must admit I'm still partial to the classic verson of Caesar using bottled (yes, bottled – *gasp* !) dressing, my love for Caesar salad is pure and true, loving any and all variations of the classic salad. Whether it's served with charred romaine, whole fresh anchovies on top (my fav) or in its classic form with a lemon wedge on the side, I am a diehard Caesar salad lover.
While it's a huge departure from my guilty pleasure bottled dressing favorite, lately I've been really feeling Caesar salads made with meaty, bitter kale. There's just something about an extra zesty, anchovy and garlic forward dressing that can really stand up to a sturdy green like kale. Which is why I decided it was about time to put my good ol' bottled Caesar on the bench just this once and take a stab at a homemade kale Caesar salad.