Kale Caesar Salad

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 peeled garlic cloves, split in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Olive oil, as needed
Salt, as needed
1 pound kale
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated or shaved with a vegetable peeler

Combine the breadcrumbs in a small saucepan with the garlic, lemon zest and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to coat well. There should be only a light trace of oil in bottom of pan. Season with a pinch of the salt and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until crumbs have darkened and toasted, for about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a small bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Remove and discard stems from the kale. Chop leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Grab leaves by handfuls and massage them roughly. Don't be timid. After a minute or so, leaves will turn soft and silky and reduce in volume to about half what you started with.

Add toasted breadcrumbs and the lemon juice to kale and toss well. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice if necessary. Arrange salad on separate salad plates or on a platter and sprinkle the grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


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