If there’s one thing you can learn from today’s Kale Caesar Flatbreads it’s this: Salad is better when served on bread. I know, it’s not really a shocking discovery. Bread has a tendency to make everything better. But this recipe is not all about the bread, although it is spectacular. What you are looking at here is a fluffy flatbread topped with baby kale coated in a whipped feta caesar dressing topped with blood orange, thin slices of red onion, and marinated white anchovies. This is the stuff of dreams…well, my dreams at least. So let’s get into it.
When I set out to make these Kale Caesar Flatbreads, I had one major ambition. To make a very fluffy flatbread. It’s no secret I like my pizza dough thic. Why should my taste in flatbreads be any different? I found that using a little more yogurt than is ordinarily called for in most flatbread recipes seems to be the key. Yes, the yeast is vital to the bread’s lift. But I attribute this flatbread’s airy almost velvet crumb to the yogurt. I think it has something to do with the acidity. Be sure to use good Greek yogurt for these flatbreads, I’m not convinced low or no-fat varieties will give you the same effect. The yogurt’s creaminess translates into the bread’s final texture. So go creamy or go home.
Flatbread is one of those blissfully easy yeasted doughs. It doesn’t need to rise for more than 15 minutes and it’s perfectly feasible to make without a stand mixer. So if breadmaking is relatively new to you or it’s something you only revisit twice a year, these flatbreads are a great place to start or get reacquainted. Once your dough has rested, you only need a hot cast iron skillet and a whack of olive oil. Yes, that’s right, no oven required. Just divide the dough, roll it out, and slap it onto the skillet. Really couldn’t be easier. With the flatbread cooked and chilling in a keep warm oven, it’s time to tackle the whipped feta Caesar salad dressing.
When I was growing up my mom always made her caesar salad dressing from scratch. But it wasn’t the traditional egg yolk emulsion deal. No, her dressing was a feta-heavy rendition that I think she got, appropriately enough, from the side of a feta container. We absolutely loved it as kids. And I still love it today. She has, of course, made several tweaks to the original recipe, so other than the presence of feta, I’m not sure it bears much resemblance to the original. It’s been a while since I’ve had my mom’s feta dressing but she mentioned she had made it over Christmas, which I didn’t make it home for. Jealousy doesn’t even begin to cover it.
So naturally, when it came time to tackle these Kale Caesar Flatbreads, regular old caesar dressing simply wouldn’t do. Plus, we’ve been there and done that. Instead, I decided to take a leaf out of my mother’s book and make a whipped feta rendition of the classic. This dressing still has most of the hallmarks of the traditional stuff. It boasts Dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and the always vital anchovy fillets. But in the place of the egg and oil, there’s yogurt and feta.
This Whipped Feta Caesar dressing is a lot sharper than its eggy counterpart. And its coat-ability is unparalleled. I used to be a person who simply hated when salad greens were heavy with dressing. But upon closer inspection, I truly hated greens drenched in inferior creamy dressings. If those dressings had been close to 50% feta, I don’t think I would’ve had an issue. But having said all that, I don’t think this Whipped Feta Caesar dressing is particularly compatible with romaine or any other tender green. You need a leaf that can hold its own. I went with baby kale, myself because I generally believe it is more suitable for caesar dressings of any stripe. Blue cheese dressings as well. There, I said it.
Finally, let’s talk about the toppings. Now, as with most toppings, this is definitely a choose-your-own-adventure scenario. You can pop just about anything on top of your tangle of baby kale. This is a great place to use up the odds and ends that have been hanging around your fridge for a hair too long. I went with blood oranges, blanched green beans, thin slices of red onion, and white anchovies.
Now, for those of you who recoil at the scent of a canned anchovy, these white anchovies (Boquerones en Vinagre) are not the same at all. These wee fishies are milder in taste and marinated in vinegar. They are actually quite refreshing. They do have a strong taste at the finish, but if you’re fine with fattier fish varieties, you’ll have no problem here. I think white anchovies are simply spectacular. But if they’re not your bag, just leave them off or replace them with something you are crazy about. Bacon would work well here, or avocado, or lentils. Really any bit of protein should do well here.
So that’s pretty much everything you need to know about these Kale Caesar Flatbreads with White Anchovies. Simple to prepare and pure bliss to eat, these flatbreads deliver fuss-free sophistication in every bite.
Kale Caesar Flatbreads with White Anchovies
- 1 Cast iron skillet
- 1¼ cup warm water
- 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
Whipped Feta Caesar Dressing
- 185g (6.5oz) feta cheese
- ⅔ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Kale Caesar Flatbreads
- 1 batch Fluffy Flatbreads see above
- 1 cup French green beans cut into thirds
- 142g (5oz) baby kale
- ½ batch Whipped Feta Caesar Dressing see above
- 2 blood oranges peeled and sliced
- ½ red onion sliced thin
- 24 marinated white anchovy fillets
For the Flatbreads
- Pour the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water and add the sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy.1¼ cup warm water, 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast, 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Add the yogurt, olive oil, and salt to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Add the flour and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer the dough to a very well-floured surface and knead the dough briefly. **¾ cup Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp kosher salt, 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- Roll the dough out into a thick rope and divide it into 8 evenly-sized pieces. Each piece should weigh about 100g each. Form each piece into balls, then cover them with a clean tea towel. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Once the 15 minutes are up, place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Roll one of the pieces of dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Place the dough in the skillet and fry until bubbles form on the surface. Flip the bread and cook until golden on the opposite side. Transfer the flatbreads to a 150°F oven and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
For the Dressing
- Place the feta, garlic, and anchovies in a large food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.185g (6.5oz) feta cheese, 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, 1 clove garlic
- Add the yogurt and set the food processor to low. Slowly stream in the olive oil and lemon juice. Continue to blitz until a silky smooth dressing forms. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the Dijon mustard. Cover and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve. ***⅔ cup Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
For the Kale Caesar Flatbreads
- Bring a small saucepan of water up to a boil. Salt the water and add the green beans. Cook for 2-3 minutes before draining and rinsing in cold water.1 cup French green beans
- In a large bowl place the baby kale. Add the green beans and the dressing. Toss to coat. Pile the kale mixture on top of the flatbreads and top with the blood oranges, red onion, and white anchovy fillets. Serve immediately.1 batch Fluffy Flatbreads, 142g (5oz) baby kale, ½ batch Whipped Feta Caesar Dressing, 2 blood oranges, ½ red onion, 24 marinated white anchovy fillets