Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Grilled Caesar Salad
Caesar salad freshly made with quality ingredients has been making a comeback lately. There's no excuse for the mass-produced style with gloppy dressing and too-much parmesan. Caesar should have a bright, briney dressing, crisp, fresh lettuce and something crunchy, usually croutons.
In this version, the classic salad gets a smoky summer twist by spending time on the grill. I first had a grilled Caesar salad years ago at Casey Jones in La Plata, Md., and I loved it. The lettuce doesn't need much time on the grill--between 1 to 2 minutes is enough to char its edges and impart a little smoke while keeping most of the greens crisp-fresh. I also used the grill to toast the bread for croutons.
Because not everyone is fan of anchovies (their loss, I agree), I made the dressing instead with Worcestershire sauce (which, by the way, contains anchovies). You could just as easily mash a tablespoon or so of chopped anchovies into the dressing.
Grilled Caesar Salad
Italian bread, cut into three 1-inch thick slices
1 garlic clove, cut in half
Seasoned salt, to taste
3 romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half through the stem so the leaves stay connected (do not separate leaves)
Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Rub both sides of each slice of bread with the cut sides of the garlic clove. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Brush the cut side of each romaine heart with olive oil.
2. Prepare hot coals for direct-heat grilling. Arrange the bread slices and lettuce hearts (cut-side down) on the grill. After 1 minute, flip over the bread and check the lettuce. Remove both when done: the lettuce is done when the edges are charred; the bread should be charred on both sides. Cut the toasts into 1-inch croutons.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified.
4. Arrange two lettuce halves on a plate, cut-side up. Scatter a few croutons over the lettuce, drizzle with about 1 tbsp. of dressing and sprinkle with grated parmesan.