This Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Fennel and Radishes puts an unexpected twist on the traditional Caesar salad and will be a hit at your next barbecue! Hearty kale is quick-charred and tossed in a rich, Caesar dressing with fresh thin-sliced radishes and fennel in this tasty salad that can be served as a side dish or a main course.
A few months back during a trip to Carmel, California, we had the pleasure of staying at Holman Ranch and dining at their restaurant, Wills Fargo. It was definitely one of the most memorable meals that we had on that trip – From the amazing charcuterie to the chocolate lava cake, I was impressed all the way around. But the dish that really swept me off my feet was their Grilled Kale Salad. It was just a bit smoky, with a tangy dressing, and crunchy too with the addition of shaved fennel, breadcrumbs and radishes.
When we returned home I just could not get that dish out of my head.
I finally got around to recreating it at home during the Fourth of July weekend. We were staying with some friends at their amazing house in Sun River and I basically had an entire free day to come up with a menu. In my book, the 4th of July always involves grilling. And, because our friends are adventurous eaters, they were happy to be my guinea pigs in testing out my take on the grilled kale salad.
I drove to the store and searched around for the ingredients to add into the salad. I was super stoked to find sea beans, and I threw some of those in there along with some thinly sliced fennel. For the dressing, I went with my old standby, my tried and true Caesar. The result was smoky, salty, bright and creamy all at once. It was a winner.
A couple days later, our friends even texted to say that they recreated it again. This time using radishes, fennel, pepitas and a Dijon lemon dressing. Doesn’t that sound amazing too?!
Really, the standout star of the recipe is the grilled kale. Just throw it onto a hot grill for a couple minutes per side to infuse it with a smoky flavor and tenderize it a bit. It’ll look like this when it’s done ⬇⬇⬇ Let it cool for a couple minutes and remove the tough stems.
I’m sharing my recipe for a Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Fennel and Radishes, but, like I mentioned before, you can really dress this salad up any way you’d like. The possibilities are endless. How would you dress up your grilled kale?
Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Fennel and Radishes
- 2 bunches kale
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 6 radishes thinly sliced
- 1 small bulb fennel cored and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp . red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp . lemon juice
- 2 anchovies minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 egg yolk
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for sprinkling
Heat grill to high and let preheat for 15 minutes. Drizzle kale with olive oil, and massage into the leaves. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill over high heat, turning once, until crispy and charred at the edges (about 2 minutes per side). Let cool briefly and remove the thick center stems. Chop the remaining leaves.
Place vinegar, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, and egg yolk in blender. Add a pinch of kosher salt and pepper, then process until combined. With the blender running, slowly stream in the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Stir in the grated Parmesan, and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Divide chopped kale between 4 salad plates, top with radishes, fennel and a drizzle of Caesar dressing. Finish with additional parmesan cheese.
Wine Pairings for Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Fennel and Radishes:
- Vinho Verde
- Dry Rosé