Saturday, September 18, 2010

Caesar Salad

Recently a good friend of mine made the long trek to Colorado for a visit. We feasted while she was here!! This was one of the many delicious things we made. It was so much fun to share good food, good friendship and good company! She also took the photos for me, which was great, and she used her super fantastic Nikon DSLR, and now I'm beyond jealous. If anyone's looking for a good gift idea for the Kitchen Witch, a DSLR would be great. Just sayin' :)

Caesar salad is so good, and so simple now that I've learned a few tricks from Pam Anderson and the Pioneer Woman! They make this delightful salad using the hearts of romaine and leaving them in large spears, to be eaten with the hands. The Kitchen Witch loves to eat with her hands so this had to be made. Let me tell you, this Caesar salad is indeed scrumptious.

Garlic is pureed with olive oil which draws the bitterness out of the garlic, leaving wonderfully garlicy oil for the croutons and milder garlic for the dressing. The Pioneer Woman uses her food processor for this process but we soon discovered that mine was too large for such a small amount of oil and garlic: the blender was much better suited. Please use whichever you have at your disposal.

We doubled the dressing, making an even easier and quicker lunch the following day. Adding some grilled chicken or shrimp would be amazing as well. The dressing will last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. The croutons are really only good for a day or 2 max before they get too stale.


Caesar Salad

Adapted from Pioneer Woman: Pam's Simple, Scrumptious Caesar Salad
makes 4-6 servings

Garlic Croutons
4 cloves garlic
A generous 1/4 cup pure olive oil
2 packed cups 3/4″ bread cubes, cut from a good-quality baguette or homemade loaf
Large pinch of salt

Salad
3 romaine hearts, separated into whole leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
4 tablespoon pure olive oil - optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Asiago cheese, plus extra for sprinkling.

Heat a skillet over low heat. With motor running, drop garlic cloves through feeder tube of a food processor fitted with the steel blade to mince. (A blender works as well.) Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil through feeder tube as well. Continue to process so that garlic releases its flavor into the oil, about 30 seconds. Strain garlic from oil through a fine-mesh strainer; reserve half of the garlic for dressing.



Increase skillet heat to medium. Place bread cubes in medium bowl. Drizzle garlic oil evenly over bread, along with big pinch of salt; toss to coat.

Add bread cubes to hot skillet and toast, turning the cubes and shaking the pan often, until crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Return croutons to bowl and set aside to cool while preparing salad.



Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl.

Whisk lemon juice, mayonnaise, half the reserved garlic, and Worcestershire in a small bowl.



Drizzle lettuce with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss lightly and carefully. (Clean hands work well.)
*~*Kitchen Witch Note: After making this salad a few times with out this additional olive oil step I have to say that I do NOT think it's necessary. The dressing provides ample flavor and if you're counting calories, the additional oil isn't needed, or missed honestly. I'm also providing nutritional info for both versions, with and with out the extra oil.*~*

Drizzle lemon mixture over lettuce; toss again.

Sprinkle Parmesan over greens; toss again.

Sprinkle croutons over the salad; toss and serve, sprinkling each portion with a little more Parmesan cheese.



Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving - with additional olive oil on lettuce
Calories 377.3
Total Fat 26.7 g
Saturated Fat 5.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 14.9 g
Cholesterol 8.8 mg
Sodium 828.5 mg
Potassium 214.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 0.3 g
Protein 7.9 g

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving - with out additional olive oil
Calories 297.8
Total Fat 17.7 g
Saturated Fat 4.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.3 g
Cholesterol 8.8 mg
Sodium 828.5 mg
Potassium 214.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 0.3 g
Protein 7.9 g

7 comments:

Jenn said...

That salad looks incredibly delicious, Andrea! I'm having coffee and I still want to dig into it!!! I'm sure the two would not go well together, but who cares!!!!
By the way...if you get me a DSLR for my bday, I'll get you one for yours!! :)

StephenC said...

We are so into Caesar-style salads. I say C-style because we've sort of evolved a way of putting it together that, with some shrimp on top, it becomes a complete meal in a bowl. I see you didn't use any egg - I've gotten a bit squeamish about that. My technique now is to just barely scramble and egg and toss it in with the greens. Anyhow, Caesar rules!

Farmer Jo said...

No egg and no anchovies! :) Sacreligious! I guess I can't be eating raw egg now anyway, but man do I love the traditional dressing.

But, that does look great.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I am so glad you made this! I have meant to try it since I got the book and now I have the benefit of you test driving it;) It looks delicious! And I'm glad you had a great time feasting and catching up with your buddy.

Ananda Rajashekar said...

Loved ur first pic...Oh yes indeed DSLR makes difference he he, OH man Pioneer Woman is just too good, olive oil and garlic hmmm best of all, recently i discovered the addition of rosemary in the olive oil bring a lot of flavor ohh yum yum...am soon gonna try ur salad, strangely summer is over but am craving for salads now!

Medifast Coupons said...

Thanks for the cesar salad recipe and Pam's link, have enjoyed myself today.

Lynn said...

Yum! I love a good Caesar Salad!! I have spoiled my kids and neighbors with homemade croutons.

Thanks for comment on my foodie blog!
Lynn
http://punkaroonie.blogspot.com/

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