Monday, May 18, 2009

Whole Leaf Caesar Salad

For our recent "Cooking with Michael" night, I used a couple of the recipes from the It's All Here episode and prepared Spaghetti all'Amartriciana and Whole Leaf Caesar Salad. Now the theme of the show was using pantry items and I had everything needed for the salad. Our garden provided the romaine lettuce. I had leftover Ciabatta, the Kneadlessly Simple way, and the rest of the ingredients in the pantry or frig.
Now I have tried a number of Caesar dressing recipes and this rates with the best. One of the unique things about this version of the salad is using whole leaves of lettuce and finger-size croutons. The idea is to eat the salad with your fingers, and I must admit, it works that way. Kenny loved the idea and the salad. One good thing about the recipe is it makes enough dressing to use later.

Whole Leaf Caesar Salad
adapted from Michael Chiarello

1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 or 4 anchovy filets, minced
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Worchestershire sauce
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Romaine lettuce leaves
Parmesan croutons
Freshly grated Parmesan

In a large wooden salad bowl, add the egg yolk, anchovies, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and a dash of Worchestershire. Stir with a fork, crushing the garlic and anchovies. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to create a thick emulsion. To serve, toss the lettuce and croutons in just enough dressing to coat. Store the remaining dressing in the frig for use later. Yield: 4 servings.

Parmesan Croutons

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 slices ciabatta bread
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute Add the bread and stir to coat. Toss the bread occasionally until both sides are golden brown.


  1. looks like life is great in the hollow - cant beat lettuce that good looking!

  2. I brought back some really tasty fig balsamic from NYC. I would be happy to share!

  3. I just read your post about eating salad with your fingers. Years ago I hosted Martha Steward in Atlanta - she graciously provided us with one of her recipes for the luncheon.

    I remembered that she, too, like to eat baby lettuces with her fingers.

  4. doggybloggy - life is great and the lettuce is delicious.

    Patty - thanks for the offer and I'm glad to hear that Martha and I have something in common.