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Recipe of the Week: Caesar Salad with Focaccia Croutons and Roasted Garlic Dressing

By CHEF LORETTA PAGANINI - | Dec 15, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Chef Loretta Paganini

One of America’s favorite salads is not Italian at all; it was created by Italian Chef Cesare Cardini in 1924 in Tijuana, Mexico. Caesar salad is a delicious blend of flavors. I like to serve it with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Italian pickled white anchovies and fresh focaccia croutons. Serves eight. (Chef tip: For best results, remove the tough white stem and outer leaves from the romaine lettuce, wash under cold water and dry well.)

2 heads romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and broken into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup focaccia bread croutons, 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shaved

Zabaglione roasted garlic dressing:

4 anchovy fillets (may be soaked in milk to reduce saltiness)

6 cloves of garlic, roasted in the oven until soft

2 large egg yolks, soft boiled for five minutes in water

1/2 lemon, juice only

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and vegetable oil blend

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the dressing by processing together the anchovies, egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard and roasted garlic. With the machine running, slowly drizzle the olive oil. Remove from the processor and add herbs and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Place romaine in a salad bowl. Add croutons and toss with prepared dressing. Top each salad with cheese and serve immediately.