Friday, December 11, 2009

Caesar Salad Spears

Caesar Salad Spears

A classic Caesar turned into a clever finger food!


2 cups 1/4-inch-diced white bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 anchovy fillets, mashed
1 small garlic clove, smashed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
7 Belgian endives


Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, in the same bowl, using a spoon, mash the anchovies to a paste with the garlic and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon zest and lemon juice, then whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the 1/4 cup of grated cheese.

Trim the endives and remove the 60 largest leaves from 6 of the heads. Stack the leaves and trim them to about 4 inches. Thinly slice the remaining endive, along with the trimmings of the 6 other heads (you should have about 3 cups), and toss with the dressing. Spoon the salad onto each spear and garnish with the croutons and grated cheese. Serve immediately.

My Comments & Tips
  • Very clever idea!  These were a hit! 
  • I will confess I used store bought croutons.  Hey, I'll take help where ever I can when I'm sure it won't compromise the dish! 
  • I left out the anchovy fillets to make the dish vegetarian and the dressing was still very tasty.
  • These were fast and easy to prepare.
  • The only thing I would do differently next time is make sure I have extra endive.  The heads I bought were kind of small and the filling turned out to be less leafy and more crunchy.

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