Wish Upon A Dish: Chicken Caesar Caprese Salad - Now you can have it both ways

March 25, 2011

Chicken Caesar Caprese Salad - Now you can have it both ways

The Nudge surprised me when I asked him what he wanted for dinner tonight. He immediately, without hesitation, said "chicken Caesar salad".

"But you don't like croutons"

"True, but I want a crispy, garlicky dressed salad with chicken cutlets"

To me, the croutons make the salad since there are no tomatoes or cucumbers or any garnish...just croutons.

He will get his salad and I will get my croutons. He really is boring at times.

Thinking about this "I want - He wants" salad, I decided to make a Caprese-style salad with a Caesar dressing using romaine, bocconcini, grape tomatoes, croutons and Parmesan curls (I am also adding julienned beets to mine).
Anne Burrell made an egg-less Caesar dressing on yesterdays show, so I will download that recipe.

You know as soon as I added the beets it turned the whole salad pink.

Eggless Caesar Salad
Adapted from The Food Network
* 1 cup grated Parmigiano, plus a block for shaving
* 2 lemons, juiced
* 4 garlic cloves
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 3 or 4 anchovy fillets
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt
* 3 to 4 slices day old rustic Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 2 hearts romaine lettuce
* 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
* 7 bocconcini, halved


In the bowl of a food processor add the 1 cup of cheese, the lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves (remember The Nudge wanted garlicky), the mustard and the anchovies. Turn the machine on and let it run for 15 to 20 seconds. As the machine is running, drizzle in 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil. Let the machine run for another 15 seconds after the oil has incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt (I found mine to be salty enough from the anchovies and the cheese).

Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil. Smash 2 garlic cloves and add them to the pan over medium heat. When the garlic cloves have become golden and are very aromatic remove them and discard, they have fulfilled their garlic destiny. Stir in the bread cubes, season with salt, to taste, and saute them until they have absorbed all of the oil and are crispy, but still slightly pliable (I hate to say this but I bought a package of a new wonderful all natural garlic and butter crouton).

Chiffinade the tender inside romaine lettuce leaves. Swish them in cool water, then pat them dry. In a large bowl toss the tomatoes, mozzarella balls and the leaves with the dressing. Arrange the leaves on serving plates and sprinkle with the garlic croutons. Shave some Parmesan over the salads and serve on top of a warmed chicken breast.

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