kale caesar salad

by jax on September 5, 2013

kale caesar salad

When I was very, very pregnant with Bowie, a group of my best ladies took me to a special luncheon at Bryan Voltaggio’s Family Meal in Frederick, MD. Oh, I loved walking in that space and feeling for a moment like I was back in NYC. So much gorgeous natural light, even if the view of the parking lot wasn’t the most striking. The cocktails were delicious; I can’t remember the name of the light pink one we decided was the best, nor can I remember a single ingredient in it (mom brain to the max). We ate like, well… like pregnant ladies (two of us were) – feasting on duck fat fries, beet and carrot salad, chicken pot pie fritters (so good). My fish tacos on little handmade corn tortillas were perfect little morsels and the chocolate earl grey donuts lived up to their fame. However, I think my most memorable bite may have been the kale caesar salad. Is there anything better than eating a super flavorful, rich dish, yet feeling virtuous staring into a plate full of dark leafy greens?

On a more recent visit to Frederick, this time to Common Market and with my darling little Bowie now pressed to the outside of my belly in my cherished Ergo, I picked up a bundle of my favorite variety of kale – beautiful deep green lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale, black kale, dinosaur kale). Later that night I took my knife to the broad leaves, cutting some big pieces to bake a batch of kale chips and very thinly slicing the rest with Family Meal’s kale caesar salad in mind. Taking notes from a simple Epicurious recipe, I whizzed up the dressing ingredients in the food processor, tossed it with the kale, and grated in a couple of hard-boiled eggs. (Have you ever done that, by the way? It’s a miracle how well it works.) Topped with sauteed shrimp and a few crisp kale leaves, this makes for a perfect light lunch or dinner. Full disclosure: the toddler didn’t agree. Hmm, maybe I should have told him it was dinosaur kale. Next time.

Dinosaur Kale Caesar Salad
adapted from Epicurious

Serves 2-3, with extra dressing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

5 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I like Maille)

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch (about 14 oz) lacinato kale, thick stems removed (curl your finger around the base of the stem and pull down, removing all of the leafy part) and thinly sliced

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

8 oz large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and sautéed, optional

Kale chips, optional

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a food processor or blender; purée until smooth. With machine running, slowly add oil in a thin stream to make a creamy dressing. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss kale and half of dressing in a large bowl. Grate in hard-boiled eggs. Stir and add more dressing until you reach your desired consistency.Top with shrimp and kale chips, if using.






misty meadows farm creamery

by jax on August 28, 2013

van misty meadows tractor

Misty Meadows was one of the first places I explored upon moving to Pennsylvania from New Jersey. I can’t remember where I first heard the name, but it sounded like a place I needed to check out. I’ve been a regular customer from the first visit. I go weekly to purchase a couple dozen eggs and delicious creamline milk. I stock up on their ground beef, and most days we’re there, we can’t escape without getting a scoop of ice cream. Chocolate hazelnut, almond coconut chocolate chip, or sometimes just plain vanilla. All produced right there on the farm and sold by the lovely family who manage the chickens and the cows. I delight in talking with the farmer about their low-temp homogenization process and their Italian machines that produce a creamier, more gelato-like style of ice cream.

The scenery at Misty Meadows is idyllic, to say the least. And there’s lots to keep the kiddos busy. Animals to see and pet, if you’re feeling brave. A rope spiderweb to get tangled in. Awesome pedal carts to ride. A trough with old tractor toys to push around in the gravel. Surrounded by fields and outlined by the mountains, it’s a little slice of heaven.

van overlooking scenery misty meadows

van and roark misty meadows

Here we are on our first visits there last fall and winter, braving the cold:

van early days misty meadows


jef pushing van misty meadows

van goats misty meadows

These days we hear a lot about why it’s necessary to know where your food comes from, and how it’s produced. When we go food shopping, terms swirl around in our brains: organic, free-range, humane, naturally-raised, eco-conscious, hormone-free, etc etc. This is all very important — crucial, I would say — to the health and well-being of ourselves and our planet. But you know another good reason to buy your food from a place like this rather than the big-box grocery stores? It’s way more fun.

thank a farmer

Leave a comment telling a bit about your favorite local food spot and you’ll be entered to win a free Misty Meadows Farm Creamery t-shirt (they’re tie-dyed and super cool)! Winner will be chosen at random on Monday, September 2nd.


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