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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tales from our Garden: Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad

The time has come to finally pick some of the vegetables that we planted and I could not be more excited!

We planted three types of lettuce - Green Romaine, Red Romaine and Boston. All three are growing at a rapid pace so after researching on the internet I found out that I can pick some of the outer leaves of lettuce while the plants are still young and the plant will continue to grow. Yesterday, I headed out to the garden and plucked a bunch of leaves off of each of my Green Romaine plants.

The lettuce right before I picked it
When I think of Romaine lettuce I automatically think of Caesar salad so that is exactly what I made with my garden pickings.
Here is my recipe for Caesar salad. I like to roast the garlic for the dressing instead of using it raw. I love the sweetness of roasted garlic, and the fact that I don't have to chew a pack of gum after eating it.

Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad
Serves 4
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 egg (traditionally a coddled egg is used)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. anchovy paste (can be replaced with 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, ripped or cut into small pieces 
  • homemade or store bought croutons
  • 4 slices of bacon or pancetta, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Follow my instructions on How-To: Roast Garlic.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor  place the egg, lemon juice, Dijon and anchovy paste. Turn the machine on and slowly drizzle the olive oil through the feed tube until the mixture is thick and emulsified.
  4. Turn the machine off and add in the parmesan cheese and the roasted garlic paste, pulse the machine until just combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a large salad bowl toss the lettuce, croutons and bacon with your desired amount of dressing.Top with some more Parmesan and serve.
*Tip: If you are worried about using a raw egg, or you just want to make the process quicker  you can replace the egg and olive oil with 3/4 cup of store bought mayonnaise (I love Hellman's Half the Fat). Simply stir the mayo together with the lemon juice, Dijon, anchovy paste/Worcestershire, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper. 


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