Monday, September 21, 2009

Pam’s Simple, Scrumptious Caesar Salad

Brett's favorite salad in the whole world is a caesar salad. I never had the guts to make a homemade caesar salad because of the anchovies, but now there is a new alternative. Pam Anderson shared her recipe on the Pioneer Woman with no anchovies! Yum. It was good - especially the homemade croutons.

Pam’s Simple, Scrumptious Caesar Salad
Pam Anderson on the Pioneer Woman
Serves 4-6


Garlic Croutons
3 - 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 Italian loaf
Large pinch of salt

3 romaine hearts (outer leaves discarded), torn up in pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
5 tablespoon pure olive oil (I use 1/4 cup extra light evoo)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling.
1 - 2 cooked chicken breast, chopped


Heat a 10-inch 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.) 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.

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