Crispy Serrano Ham Kale Caesar

Kale is one of my favorite types of greens to use in my salads. I love the heartiness of it and the way it stands up to dressings. Many people think kale is too tough, but if you cut it right and massage the dressing into the leaves, the kale becomes tender while still having a nice crunch. The key to kale salad is cutting the leaves into tiny, thin strips. Big pieces of kale leaves can be too tough, at least for me.

This caesar dressing is so flavorful- I make a big batch and keep it in my refrigerator the whole week to dip cut vegetables into. Also, what really makes this salad over the top is the crispy serrano. The punch of flavor the roasted ham brings takes this salad to a whole new level. I love the crispy ham in this caesar, but it is also great on sandwiches, pizza, and an omelet- really, you can’t go wrong any way you use it!

Crispy Serrano Ham Kale Caesar

  • Prep Time: 8m
  • Cook Time: 8m
  • Total Time: 16m
  • Serves: 4


For the Salad:

  • 1 large bunch kale, stems removed, thinly sliced (About 6 cups)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices serrano ham

For the Dressing:

  • 1-2 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 lemon juiced, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 6 anchovy filets
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the ham on a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes until crispy. You will be able to smell it when it’s ready. Set aside to cool on the baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the egg yolk, garlic, and half of the olive oil until it becomes thick. Once thick, add the lemon juice, anchovies, red pepper flakes, Dijon, salt and pepper. Pulse those ingredients until incorporated in the dressing. Then with the processor running, slowly drizzle in the rest of the oil until is a consistency of your liking. Taste the dressing to adjust any necessary seasonings.
  4. Pour about ½ the dressing all over the kale with the parmesan cheese and massage or mix it into the greens. The dressing will help tenderize the kale leaves. Break up the crispy ham and toss with the kale. Top the salad with a sprinkling of fresh parmesan and enjoy!

xo, Rachel


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