Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grilled Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing

This past weekend marked the unofficial start of the Summer season.  There were festivals, concerts and BBQs galore to soak in the beautiful weather and holiday weekend good vibes--and that means food (specifically what to eat) was never too far behind.

A family BBQ was on my agenda for Memorial Day and I contemplated what to contribute to the menu.  I briefly considered doing a dessert, but then decided to go in a different (but equally delicious) direction with a classic Summer staple: salad.  But not just any salad.  If it was going to be a salad that could hold its own among burgers and franks and sides and, yes, dessert, it had to be one that I was sure could deliver.   So I decided to dust off my my recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad with homemade Caesar dressing.  I fell in love with this salad years ago, and it was a hit at last year's Spring Pop-Up Cooking School, so it had already passed the taste test many times over.

There's nothing quite like making your food from scratch. The homemade effect is hard to beat and that couldn't be truer when it comes to homemade salad dressings.  Caesar dressing is especially wonderful with a bold, deeply savory and scrumptious flavor that can single-handedly elevate your classic Caesar Salad to other-worldliness-and when coupled with grilled, slightly charred greens, you'll never see this salad the same again.

Here's to a beautiful Summer filled with lots of Happy Eating!

Grilled Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Romaine hearts

Add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, anchovy paste, Worcestshire, hot sauce (if using), egg yolk, salt, and pepper to a blender to combine.  With the blender on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to incorporate until dressing is thickened.  Remove dressing from blender and whisk in 3 tablespoons of Parmesan.  Set aside.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Take romaine hearts and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Grill, face-side down, for up to two minutes, or just until greens start to slightly wilt and char.

Greens can be served whole or chopped.  Add dressing and garnish with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan.  Enjoy!     


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