Monday, May 20, 2013

Ceasar Salad with Parmesan Crisps

A classic Ceasar Salad is always a great addition to any meal. Adding grilled chicken can easily make it a main dish any night of the week. In my version below, you will find the addition of Parmesan crisps, as well as, no garlic or egg Ceasar inspired dressing. My husband and I aren't the biggest fans of raw garlic, mainly because of the lingering after taste for the next 3 days, so I always omit raw garlic in dressings and keep it simple with oil, lemon, cheese, Dijon, salt and pepper.

Ceasar Salad and Parmesan Crisps
4 servings

1 head chopped Romaine Lettuce- washed and dried
1 head chopped green or red leaf lettuce-washed and dried
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes-sliced in half
6-8 oz Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Roman Cheese
1 baguette, preferably day old or store bought croutons (I left these out to make my salad GF)
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
1 lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Balsamic Glaze (you can make this by reducing balsamic vinegar into a syrup or you can find it at the grocery store)
8 thin sliced grilled chicken cutlets seasoned with salt and pepper (You can use an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan) -optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice day old bread into 1 inch cubes and place on baking sheet. Drizzle bread with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in the oven and bake 8-12 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2. Leave oven at 400 degrees F to make Parmesan Crisps. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a sil-mat. Grate 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese. Pour a heaping tablespoon of the cheese onto lined baking sheet and lightly pat down. Repeat with remaining cheese, making 8-10 crisps. Space the spoonfuls 1/2 inch apart.. Bake 3-5 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuces and tomatoes. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

4. To make the dressing combine 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper and 1 tsp Dijon mustard, slowly whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil until well blended.

5. To assemble the salad: add croutons into the lettuce and toss salad with dressing. Distribute salad among 4 plates and top with Parmesan crisps, sliced grilled chicken and drizzle with balsamic glaze. I also like to shave a few more slices of cheese using a vegetable peeler on top of salad. 

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