Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Simple Pleasure......

When Melinda and I were deciding what foods we would make on our last trip to the cabin, I suggested a salad with grilled romaine....her response? What in the world would make you think of grilling romaine? Well, I didn't think of it....have no idea which Food Network show I saw it on, but I'm pretty sure that's the first place I ever saw it. Now I think that a salad is boring if the lettuce isn't grilled!

My absolutely favorite salad has always been a Caesar's Salad....with home made Caesar's dressing store bought, creamy type stuff for me! But until you've had a Caesar's salad with grilled romaine, you just haven't lived.

I grilled some romaine the other simple that it seems silly to post it here, but I will anyway. (THEN I'm going to give you my recipe for Caesar dressing). First of all, don't cut the bottom part from the head of romaine. Slice the head down the middle and drizzle olive oil over it (I also make sure to rub it over all of the leaves). Then I sprinkle with salt and pepper......let sit for about 30 minutes (really softens the leaves), then throw it on the grill. Now don't leave that only takes a few minutes to get a good crisp on each side!

I do this is at the very last minute, because the warm lettuce is so delicious! Once it's grilled, place it on the salad plate, drizzle with Caesar's dressing (below) and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and croutons.....enjoy!

Now for the Caesar's dressing!

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or crushed (crushed is best)

3 anchovies or 1½ tablespoons anchovy paste

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoons black or white pepper

Salt to taste

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

It's important for me to tell you that when I make this dressing, I measure nothing! I just put the ingredients together, taste and adjust. The measurements provided here are approximate, so be prepared to "adjust"....

The first thing I do is to mix all of the ingredients except for the Parmesan and the olive oil. It's easier to combine the ingredients with the acid (lemon juice) first....then using a fork, stir the ingredients as you add the olive oil. Don't forget to taste and "adjust"! Sometimes I mix the Parmesan into the dressing AND sprinkle the remaining over the salad.

Also, because I'm on a lower carb diet, I don't add croutons. I grate LOTS of Parmesan and make Parmesan crisps. You just take about 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and put them on a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper...form them into circles about 3 inches in diameter and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. They are delicious!

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