This heartier version of a classic Caesar gets its subtle smokiness from grilled kale leaves and lemons.
3 bacon slices, preferably thick-cut
2 tbsp butter
3 slices bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, crusts removed
1 to 2 lemons
3 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large fresh egg or 2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 bunches kale
2 tbsp olive oil
Place bacon in medium-sized frying pan and set over medium heat. Cook, turning occasionally until crisp (5 to 7 minutes). Remove to paper towels. When the pan cools, wipe it out with paper towels. Slice or crumble bacon.
Melt butter in a large frying pan set over medium heat. When bubbling, add bread cubes, shake pan to coat them and sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly golden.
To prepare dressing, squeeze 2 tbsp juice from lemon into a medium bowl. Cut remaining lemon in half and set aside. Whisk garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pepper into the lemon juice. Add the egg or mayonnaise and whisk until evenly mixed. Slowly whisk in ’/3 cup olive oil in a thin, steady stream. Add half the cheese and whisk to incorporate.
Lightly brush the kale leaves and lemon halves with remaining oil. Preheat barbecue to medium-high. When hot, grill lemon halves, cut side down, for 2 to 4 minutes until grill marks form. Grill kale for about 1 minute until softened slightly. Remove to a large bowl. When cool, remove kale leaves from stems and divide leaves between plates. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with croutons, bacon and remaining cheese. Cut lemon halves into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing overtop of the salad.