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A Delicious New Twist on Caesar Salad

Posted By brosbottom On June 28, 2019 @ 4:11 am In Food News | 6 Comments

Caesar Salad with Parmesan Bread Pudding, Cherry Tomatoes, and Olives

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
Scant 3/4 tsp kosher salt
Sseveral grinds of black pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp minced garlic

Parmesan Bread Pudding
Butter for greasing the baking dish
2 cups toasted croutons (Recipe follows.)
4 large eggs
1 cup crème fraîche
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk (See cooking tip.)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons extra for sprinkling over salad
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 generous pinches cayenne pepper
1 tsp very finely minced garlic

Salad and Garnishes
2 cups cherry tomatoes, a mix of red, yellow, and orange ones if available
Olive oil
Kosher salt
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted or unpitted
2 hearts Romaine, separated into individual leaves
1 tbsp chopped chives, optional
1. For the vinaigrette, in a large mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Stir in garlic. Taste and add extra lemon juice if desired. (Vinaigrette can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes and whisk well before using.)

2. For Parmesan bread pudding, arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Butter an 8-by 8-inch baking dish (pyrex works well) and spread toasted croutons on the bottom. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs until well blended, then whisk in crème fraîche, half-and-half or milk, cheese, salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Ladle over croutons.

4. Bake until bread pudding is set and a small, sharp knife or tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove bread pudding from the oven to cool for 15 minutes Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees F. (Bread pudding can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and reheat, uncovered, in a preheated 350- degree oven for 15 minutes or until hot.)

5. Place cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with enough olive oil to coat lightly, and season with salt. Bake until tomatoes are hot and just starting to shrink, 10 to 12 minutes.

6. To assemble salad, cut the bread pudding into 6 equal portions and arrange on six dinner plates. Choose 18 of the nicest romaine leaves and toss in the lemon vinaigrette just to coat lightly. Garnish each bread pudding with 3 overlapping romaine leaves and with a cluster of cherry tomatoes and a few olives. Sprinkle extra Parmesan over the puddings and Romaine leaves. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the tomatoes. If desired sprinkle puddings with some chives. Serves 6.

Toasted Croutons
2 cups bread cubes (3/4-in dice), made from good-quality French baguette or crusty country loaf
2 tbsp canola oil or olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter

In a medium heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter until hot. Add bread cubes; stir and cook until the bread is crisp and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside. (Croutons can be prepared 4 hours ahead; cover loosely with foil and leave at room temperature.) Makes about 2 cups

Cooing tip: I like to use half and half in this recipe since it adds extra richness, but whole milk works well too.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2019

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