Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby Kale, Rainbow Chard and Beetroot leaf Ceasar

Baby Red Russian Kale, Rainbow Chard and Beetroot Leaves

im in love with hardy greens, i love their long growing season and i love their multiple uses, young and old. in this recipe im using three types that i grow every year: kale, rainbow chard, and beetroot. its a bit hard to find all these greens in the shops together, so growing them may be the best answer.
i like to use the tender young leaves in salads, rainbow chard adds a great splash of colour too the salad bowl.  older leaves of all these plants tend to need cooking, which opens them up to a whole range of culinary uses. you can even treat big leaves as two seperate veg, i cook the stalks seperate to the leafy ends, which cook more quickly.

my first time growing rainbow chard was alongside beetroot. in my first adult veg patch. i had two raised beds about 4 by 6 feet in length, right off a busy road on capitol hill, seattle. chard was a wonderful thing to grow, it kept growing slowly through the winter months, and provided a much needed green energy boost when the pocket strings were stretched. rainbow chard is one of the ultimate economy crops, it gives and gives. when all things are green in the garden its the entire spectrum, whats not to love?

kale probably gets the worst rap out of all the veg, except maybe turnip and swedes. mainly for being cornered off in the 'hippy food' category. theres really no unanimous vote for kale. i grow it for alot of the same reasons as i do chard. its pretty, in quiter way than chard. it's long lasting and keeps on giving. kale will take up more space in your garden, as do other brassicas, than chard. its also super high in nutrients, as well as massive cancer fighting properties. so, you better add this one on to your garden list, im planting more in the garden for winter as we speak.


Baby Kale, Rainbow Chard and Beetroot leaf Ceasar
serves 4

this recipe is one of my favourites, i wish that one day all ceasar salads will be made with hardy greens. the strong dressing pairs great with them, the different coloured leaves and homemade croutons add a simple cheffy flair, and are a great way of using up left over bread. for the best homeade crouton recipe click, here. try using different cheeses grated on top of your salads, my recent fav is Osin Farms Mature Goats Gouda, made in Limerick, similar in flavour to parmesean with a goaty edge.

1 pound of hearty baby greens, a mix of kale/chard/beetroot, or any tender hearty leaves
homemade croutons (see note)

Ceasar dressing:
1 egg yolk
1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oil packed anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 cup (250ml) olive or rapeseed oil
salt and pepper

  • for the dressing: add egg yolk garlic, zest of a lemon, dijon and anchovy to bowl, and very slowly drizzle in oil while wisking constantly. if the oil is added to quickly the emulsion will break. after adding last of oil season with salt, pepper  and squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
  • add greens to bowl with croutons and toss in the dressing.
  • serve with grated or shaved parmesean or any other aged hard cheese.

1 comment:

  1. mmmm - love this one! I've been meaning to make my own Ceasar dressing for some time - now I know how! Thanks Taylor!!