Friday, January 6, 2012

Romaine Salad with Anchovy Dressing and Parmesan

Sometimes I am completely oblivious.  Take this salad for instance, a Romaine Salad with Anchovy Dressing and Parmesan.  Sounds simple enough.  And tasty.  But as soon as I tasted the dressing I realized that it was essentially homemade caesar dressing - only a little more acidic and a lot less creamy than your standard caesar dressing.  I must have been absolutely spaced out not to realize that romaine, plus anchovies, garlic, evoo and Parm-Reg equals caesar salad.  There I was thinking about how the salad would be the perfect side to a Mediterranean/Greek shrimp dish and I completely missed it.  Oops.  So once I started thinking about it in the context of caesar salad, I couldn't help missing croutons.  Aren't the croutons always the best part of a caesar salad anyway?  Even if this were to be thought of as just a salad and not a caesar salad, I would think it was missing something.  It just needed another element, another texture really, to bring it all together.  If I were to focus on the salad as a caesar salad, I would have to say that I preferred the Bayona Caesar that we made awhile back with arugula and homemade croutons.  That dressing was a bit more complicated and had both Dijon mustard and an egg yolk to make it creamy/thick, a more luxurious-seeming dressing that I greatly appreciate with a caesar salad.  If I were to try to shift my mindset to think of the salad as just another salad and not a caesar salad (which, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that I could) I think I would still prefer another salad.  It's not that the salad was bad.  It wasn't.  It's just that it didn't really stand out for me and I think we have made better.

Recipe after the jump!

Romaine Salad with Anchovy Dressing and Parmesan
July 2009

5 flat anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 hearts of romaine (20 to 22 ounces total), torn into pieces
6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Whisk together anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Whisk in oil.

Toss lettuce with dressing, then with cheese.

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