Friday, May 20, 2011

Live Lettuce Caesar Salad with Crunchy Shallots

It's Friday night and you'd think I'd be relaxing and trying to gear up for the 3 weddings I have this weekend!  But, alas, the guilt of not blogging lately is getting to me!  I have a few excuses.... #1 I went on vacation to visit my mom for 6 days and laid by a pool drinking Skinny Girl Margaritas for 5 of the 6 days.  There was no cooking what so ever on that vacay.  None. 

Excuse #2 is that my hubby, my best friend in the whole world, the person I live to cook for- is on a HORRIBLE schedule right now that almost always has us spending dinner time apart.  :(   We are missing each other terribly and I think he is missing my cooking even more!  I am missing my cooking as well, but cooking for one just isn't as fun.  My creative juices just aren't flowing without my muse. ;)  But, today I did make a huge batch of my Christmas Pasta (yes, in May) with peas and chicken and vodka sauce.  I wanted to have something normal for him to eat while I'm working all weekend.  I'm afraid the cop diet may take over so I want to make sure he is eating right. 

Anyway, I digress.  I try really hard to cook when he has days off and I made an amazing take on a Caesar salad the other day that I just had to share.  It's quick and easy and has a few twists that will turn this classic on it's ear.   First- I used Live Organic Lettuce, which usually comes in a plastic box like container and still has it's roots attached.  It's so buttery, soft and crunchy all at the same time.  It reminds me of picking lettuce from my grandparents garden growing up, and you REALLY can tell the difference.  It's like eating a salad that Mother Nature made for you.  Corny?  Try it, then tell me that you didn't think the exact same thing when you took your first bite.

Secondly, I made homemade garlic croutons with a garlic bulb ciabatta that I bought at the bakery.  But, any ciabatta or crusty, day old bread will do.  It was super easy to make croutons and they are crunchy with a little soft texture in the center, unlike the ones you get in the store.  Intoxicating-ly good!  And, the most irresistible addition-- I made crunchy shallots to top it with.  Seriously, this salad was, well, OFF the hook! :)  Can't wait to make it again.  Next time I may add shrimp or chicken or maybe even some skirt steak. 

Housepitalities Live Lettuce Caesar Salad

  • 1 head of Organic Live Lettuce
  • 1 loaf of Garlic Bulb Ciabatta
  • 2 large Shallots
  • 2 tablespoons of Flour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Your favorite high quality, creamy Caesar Dressing

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut ciabatta loaf into large-bite-size pieces and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Roast for 10 minutes, turn pieces and roast for another 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Slice shallots into rings and toss into the flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan and fry shallots for about 3-5 minutes on medium heat until browned and crispy.  Remove and let them drain on paper towel.  Cut and wash lettuce and place in a large salad bowl.  Toss with croutons and a few tablespoons of your favorite Caesar dressing.  Top with crispy shallots.



Garlic Bulb Ciabatta Croutons

Housepitalities Live Lettuce Caesar Salad w. Crunchy Shallots


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