Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Bacon, Garlic Panko Crumbs, and White Anchovies

Marc Orfaly

ReelHouse, Boston

This twist on a Caesar salad uses kale instead of the traditional Romaine. Garnished with white anchovies and tossed in a powerful dressing, it’s not for the faint of heart.


  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chopped garlic, divided
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Pinch chile flakes
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon chopped anchovies
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons Frank’s brand hot sauce or other hot sauce
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for plating
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and ribs removed
  • 8 white anchovies for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place a metal cooling rack on a sheet tray. Lay the bacon over the cooling rack and roast in the oven until crispy, about 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to paper towels to drain. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, break it up into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Melt the butter in a wide sauté pan over low heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add 1/4 teaspoon of the chopped garlic, the chile flakes, and the oregano. Cook for one minute, then add the panko. Continue cooking until the crumbs are golden brown, about another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the dressing, process the remaining garlic and the chopped anchovies in a food processor until smooth. Add the egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard and blend until smooth. Slowly stream in the olive oil while blending. When all of the oil is added, add the Parmesan and blend a final time. Season to taste with pepper.

To serve, place the kale in a mixing bowl and toss with the dressing. Divide the kale among 4 salad plates. Sprinkle with panko and Parmesan. Top with a couple of white anchovies and several pieces of bacon.


4 servings