Monday, December 23, 2013

Spinach Caesar Salad

The great taste of Caesar salad dressing has been used in many ways other than the popular classic Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, croutons and parmesan cheese.  In this slight variation to the Caesar salad recipe, I used baby spinach, red onions, bacon and homemade croutons to create a tasty light lunch or starter.

Servings: 2-4
Prep Time: 15 minutes (for salad and dressing)
Cooking Time: 12 minutes (for croutons)


Caesar Dressing
8 Anchovy fillets
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Egg yolks
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3/4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese finely grated

2 Cups Crusted Bread cut into 1/4 inch cubes
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

12 oz. Baby Spinach
1/2 Small Red Onion julienned
3 Strips Bacon cooked and crumbled

For the dressing mince the garlic cloves.  Lay the anchovies over the minced garlic and minced the anchovies with the garlic.  When the anchovies and garlic are finely minced, use the side of the knife to mash the two ingredients into a paste.  Transfer the paste into a large bowl.  Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil and Dijon mustard to the bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until it forms a thick glossy dressing (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the finely grated parmesan cheese to the bowl and whisk once more until the cheese is well combined into the dressing.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside the Caesar Dressing.  Note: makes about 1.5 Cups and can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place the bread on the sheet and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle the olive oil over the bread and toss the ingredients together until the bread is well coated with olive oil.  Place the baking sheet into the oven to toast the bread -- about 12-15 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.  Remove the croutons from the oven to cool.

Combine the spinach, red onions and crumbled bacon in a large bowl.  Add the croutons.  Pour some of the dressing over the salad (an amount of your liking and enough to coat the spinach).  Toss the salad until the spinach is well coated.

Serve and Enjoy.

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