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Radicchio, kale and chickpea caesar salad at lynnecurry.com.

So Long Lettuce, Hello Radicchio, Lacinato Kale & Garbanzo Caesar

Our last CSA box for the season contained romaine and head lettuce, plus an assortment of other greens. As a fanatic for leafy greens, this seemed like a good time to say good-bye to lettuce.

I’m not saying that I don’t buy those plastic boxes of triple washed organic lettuce leaves come winter. I just try not to. Because salad isn’t only lettuce.

In fact, I love a salad that celebrates a single vegetable that generally doesn’t get to shine. take this radish salad, for instance, this cabbage salad or this this carrot salad {with a post for devising your own hearty winter salads}.

Radicchio and kale Caesar salad recipe at lynnecurry.com.

What they all have in common is that not a one of them contains any traditional salad greens.

Caesar without Romaine

This Caesar looks like fall. It combines crisp, garnet radicchio leaves with tender, smooth-leafed lacinato kale.

There are plenty of kale Caesar salads and radicchio Caesar salads around, so blending the two in a single salad satisfies in more ways than one.

Radicchio and kale Caesar salad recipe at lynnecurry.com.

But to beef it up to make a simple supper on its own, I opened a can of garbanzo beans. I typically cook garbanzos from scratch, but this salad is one reason it’s worth keeping a can on hand.

A Cheater Ceasar Dressing

Creamy Caesar dressing mellows the sharpness of the radicchio and enriches the kale. Likely, you have your own favorite recipe or bottled brand for this classic dressing.

In this recipe, I share my shortcut method using mayonnaise. Just don’t tell the purists that I’ve skipped the anchovies {relying on the Worcestershire sauce for that base note} so that it’s a quick, single-bowl affair.

With all of the flavors coming from the radicchio and kale, the dressing doesn’t need to carry this Caesar. And with these two, you’ll never get a soggy salad. Depending on my mood, I’ll dress it  advance and let it soften before serving.

Radicchio and kale Caesar salad recipe at lynnecurry.com.

Of course, you’ll need some good garlicky croutons and excellent grating cheese, such as asiago or parmigiano-reggiano.

Serve this as a main dish salad or as a first course. It deserves your undivided attention.

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Radicchio, Lacinato Kale & Garbanzo Caesar

This is a main dish salad that also makes a great side for broiled fish or chicken.

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 head radicchio, cored
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems trimmed
  • 3/4 cup cooked or canned garbanzo beans rinsed and drained if canned
  • 1 cup croutons
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise store-bought or homemade
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel the radicchio leaves apart and tear them into large pieces and put on a platter. Cut the kale into large pieces and combine with the radicchio.

  2. Distribute the garbanzos and croutons all over the salad.

  3. To make the dressing, whisk the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon and Worcestershire until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Or, use an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.

  4. Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad. Let sit for about 15 minutes to soften the radicchio and kale or serve right away.

  5. Serve with additional dressing on the side. Note that this dressing tends to separate, so whisk it vigorously, shake it in a jar or remix with your immersion blender before serving.

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