Saturday, April 26, 2014

Grilled Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps

I know what you're thinking - grilled lettuce? I made this salad last year for a news segment called "Backyard BBQ" and the crowd went wild. The reason being, this dish is so fun and absolutely irresistible (and unexpected).

Making Caesar dressing from scratch is much better for you than the bottled stuff. You may be tempted to leave the anchovies out, but trust me, they give the dressing it's yummy "umami" flavor. And the Parmesan crisps are slightly sweet and nutty - the perfect compliment to the smoky lettuce.

This dish can be served as an appetizer, side dish or light meal. Happy grilling!

1. Preheat oven to 400; preheat grill to medium-high.
2. Pour a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan onto a silpat and lightly pat down. Repeat with the remaining cheese, placing the spoonfuls 1/2-inch apart (make 8 total). Bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.


3. Pat anchovy fillets dry with a paper towel. Combine garlic cloves, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, salt and egg yolk in a blender; process until smooth. With blender running, add oil; process again until smooth.


4. Place lettuce, cut sides down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes. Turn; grill 1 minute. Remove from heat.



5. Place 2 Parmesan crisps on each plate, top with grilled romaine, and drizzle with dressing. Serve with grilled chicken, if desired.

Grilled Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps
Serves 4

All you need:
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 canned anchovy fillets
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large pasteurized egg yolk
1/4 cup olive oil
Cooking spray
2 large romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half lengthwise

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400; preheat grill to medium-high.
2. Pour a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan onto a silpat and lightly pat down. Repeat with the remaining cheese, placing the spoonfuls 1/2-inch apart (make 8 total). Bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.
3. Pat anchovy fillets dry with a paper towel. Combine garlic cloves, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, salt and egg yolk in a blender; process until smooth. With blender running, add oil; process again until smooth.
4. Place lettuce, cut sides down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes. Turn; grill 1 minute. Remove from heat.
5. Place 2 Parmesan crisps on each plate, top with grilled romaine, and drizzle with dressing. Serve with grilled chicken, if desired.

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