Recipe:  Kale Salad with Fried Oyster Croutons
May 14, 2024

Recipe: Kale Salad with Fried Oyster Croutons

Kale Salad with Fried Oyster Croutons 

Why use bread when you can top your Caesar salad with crispy cornmeal-crusted fried oyster croutons? The fried oysters become perfectly crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. They keep their crunch miraculously well when tossed in with the greens and the creamy anchovy-rich dressing. The dressing and the salad can be prepped in advance so all you have to do is fry your oysters, dress your salad, and serve.


Fun fact: We serve a version of this dish at our restaurant, The Winsor House, across from our farm in Duxbury, MA! Just another reason to visit ;)



  • 6 anchovy filets, drained, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 2 large pasteurized egg yolks (see Note)
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • 1 large bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1 small head radicchio, cored and chopped
  • 2 inner celery ribs, thinly sliced on the bias, plus ½ cup bright green celery leaves
  • ¼ cup snipped chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1½ Tbsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 24 Island Creek oysters, shucked
  • ¾ cup fine or medium ground cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the Dressing In the bowl of a blender or in a medium bowl and using an immersion blender, puree the anchovies, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, and garlic until smooth. With the blender running, slowly stream in the olive oil until the dressing is thick and emulsified. Stir in the parmesan cheese and season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if needed. If your dressing is too thick, add a little warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until you have your desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning again. Scrape the dressing into a pint-size jar and refrigerate until ready to use. 

  2. Prepare the Salad In a large bowl, toss the kale with the radicchio, celery, celery leaves, and chives. Cover with a damp paper towel and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  3. Fry the Oysters Fill a large Dutch oven with 1-inch of oil. Heat the oil over moderate heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F.

  4. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the hot sauce. Thoroughly dry your shucked oysters with paper towels and then add them to the buttermilk mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and black pepper. 

  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the oysters from the buttermilk, letting any excess liquid drip back into the bowl. Coat the oysters evenly in the cornmeal mixture and place on a parchment paper-lined plate. Working in batches, fry the oysters in the hot oil, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the oysters to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt. 

  6. Remove your salad from the fridge and season your greens with salt. Spoon some of the Caesar dressing over the top and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if needed. Transfer to plates or a serving bowl and garnish with the fried oysters, more freshly grated parmesan cheese, and more anchovies, if desired. Finish with a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and serve right away.