Now this may not be the most exciting dinner on the planet, but I have to admit, I've never made a caesar salad before! I've ordered plenty in restaurants, and even gone the semi-homemade route with bottled dressing. But for dinner last night I took the time to make the dressing, grill the chicken, and even make little cheesy bacon croutons.
What inspired me to stop being a lazy caesar-eater? The Kitchen Belleicious 2011 Recipe Challenge! The idea is to choose 12 recipes that you've always wanted to make, but (for some reason or another) have never taken the time. I thought I'd start off January with something fairly easy, and somewhat health conscious (if you don't count the croutons). Salad seemed like the best way to go, and the caesar salad is one of my favorites.
This particular version is another one from Rachael Ray's Book of 10 cookbook. I'm not going to share the whole recipe, as I'm sure you can figure out how to grill chicken and chop lettuce. However, here's the recipe for the cheesy "croutons" and the dressing.
For the croutons:
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the bacon and let cool. In a small bowl, mix together all three ingredients. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used a Silpat) and pour the cheese mixture on it. Spread it out, making a nice even, and fairly thin layer. Bake it for 3-4 minutes, turning about halfway through. Keep an eye on it, because it can burn quickly if you forget! When it's nice and golden brown, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Once cool, you can break it apart to make little "croutons" for the salad.
For the dressing:
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
juice of 1 lemon
fresh ground pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
To make the dressing, combine the garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil, then add the cheese.
To assemble the salad, dress the greens, top them with grilled chicken (if you so desire) and finally sprinkle them with the cheesy, bacony "croutons". Bon appétit!
***And don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free custom onesie or t-shirt from Elephant in the Room Baby Boutique. You have until Friday to enter!