Wild Recipes

Rabbit and Kale Caesar Salad

Latest posts by Jeff Benda (see all)
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I have worked at many different restaurants across the U.S. over the years, and the most popular salad has always been the classic Caesar. There are countless variations on a Caesar Salad, but there is nothing better than this Rabbit and Kale Caesar Salad.

Chasing rabbits in the Upper Midwest can be a lot of fun! Rabbit hunting season is open year-round here in North Dakota and there isn’t a bag limit. Provided the weather cooperates, it can be a great way to restock a freezer with wild game. Being on a rabbit hunt is also my happy place during the hunting doldrums of February. I like to target the edges of harvested wheat and soybean fields, but walking a tree row in a farmstead can be just as fruitful. If you find a good hunting spot, you can be fairly certain you’ll be able to bring home a few rabbits to make this dish.

Preparing the rabbit takes a little time because we are braising it and then shredding the meat before it tops our salad. Braising is a combination of cooking techniques where you lightly fry the meat before letting it stew in some kind of liquid in a covered dish until fully cooked. It’s a simple cooking technique that only requires one pot. The result is an incredibly delicious rabbit that is both slightly crispy and juicy at the same time.

If you don’t want to take the time to make a homemade Caesar dressing, feel free to skip the steps listed below and use a store-bought variation. I won’t be offended! I’m a busy husband and father who has a refrigerator door full of salad dressings – including Caesar.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Looking for more rabbit recipes? Try out this Florida Rum Braised Rabbit by Justin Townsend!

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Rabbit and Kale Caesar Salad

Recipe by Jeff Benda
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Course: Wild Recipes


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  • wild rabbit, gutted, skinned, and head removed

  • Kosher salt

  • black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (this can be found near the canned tuna at your local grocery store) or minced canned anchovies

  • lemons

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 2 large bunches of kale (about 12 cups roughly chopped)

  • 1 cup croutons


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • On a cutting board, cut the rabbit into 9 pieces with game shears. Cut the saddle (center portion) into 3 pieces. Cut the front portion (front legs) in half through the backbone. Chop each hind leg into 2 pieces.
  • Season the rabbit meat with 1 teaspoon each of the kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add the rabbit pieces, brown on both sides for about 3 minutes each.
  • Add the chicken broth and onion. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and transfer it to the preheated oven and cook at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour until rabbit is nice and tender.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the heat, then remove the rabbit pieces from the pot and transfer to a cutting board. Let the meat cool for about 10 minutes until safe to handle, then shred the meat using your fingers or 2 forks. Be careful to remove and discard all the small bones. Using a sharp knife, chop up the shredded rabbit meat and set aside for later.
  • Save all of the liquid and remaining contents in the Dutch oven for a nice bowl of rabbit soup to serve with the salad or later in the week.
  • Juice 1 lemon and set aside in a bowl to use for the Caesar dressing. Cut the other lemon into wedges to use as a garnish at the end.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire. Add the mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 each of kosher salt and black pepper. Whisk until well combined. You can make this ahead of time and save it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • In a large bowl, toss the chopped kale with 1/2 cup of the Caesar dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and croutons. Top the salad with the cooked rabbit meat and pepper to taste. Garnish with a slice of lemon. Place the remaining salad dressing in a small bowl with a spoon and serve on the side if someone wants a little extra.

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Jeff Benda

Cooking gives me a creative outlet to transform wild game and bring it into traditional recipes from around the world to help expand people's perceptions. My goal is to celebrate local fish and wild game and provide achievable, bright recipes designed to build confidence for new cooks, and inspire everyone to elevate their cooking. I hope that by sharing and celebrating the food I create with the fish and wild game I harvest, I can highlight the great contribution so many hunters and anglers have made to conservation in this country, and reflect the freedom we have to enjoy America's great outdoors.

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