June 14, 2015
Stacked Pasta Salad with Herbal Caesar Dressing ♥ Safest Choice Eggs Lean & Light #Sponsored Recipe Contest
Right outside my home office is a large deck where I have assembled a crate and container vegetable garden.
This year I went all out and planted zucchini, cucumbers, pole beans, eggplants, 3 kinds of peppers, 30 broccoli plants, a bucket of Swiss chard and thumbelina carrots.
All great veggies, but what I look forward to mostly to this year, is three types of heirloom tomatoes.
“I received coupons for free samples of Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Back in the day, I was all about the Caesar salad, so much so that, on our 5th Anniversary (wood), I was gifted a large single piece wood bowl just for making that salad.
With the risk of Salmonella outbreaks world-wide, my bowl went into storage and I traded it in for Caprese Salads (fresh basil, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes).
While I make a mean Caprese salad, when I eat out at my favorite Italian restaurant, the salad of choice is always a Portabella e Pepperoni Arrostini (a salad made with Italian herbs, marinated grilled portobella mushroom, roasted red peppers with fresh mozzarella in a balsamic vinaigrette).
Why not combine the best of all three and with Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs, my version is easily doable and wildly delicious.
If you are concerned about using a raw egg, Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs are pasteurized. They cook and taste just like the eggs we were all brought up with but without all the worry of Salmonella.
I just love all the innovations in the food industry of today, from organic to eradicated milk and now the elimination of food-born bacteria.
If you like runny poached, sunny-side-up, or soft-boiled eggs (I love them all), switching to Davidson's pasteurized eggs would be a good precautionary measure especially with larger and larger occurrences of Salmonella poisoning.
So, if you are cooking for young children, an elderly person, or someone with a weakened immune system, say from cancer therapy, HIV, or some other cause, pasteurized eggs can add a level of safety that may make everyone more comfortable.
Always thinking of dinner party presentation, I added fresh pasta sheets to create layers. I used no boil lasagna sheets and cooked them in simmering salted water for 6 minutes. Rinse and dry.
Three layers makes a perfect appetizer.
One large portabella mushroom cap and one large roasted red pepper proved to just enough for 4 servings. The mushroom added a meaty texture while the roasted pepper, the sweet component.
The second layer consists of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. A perfect combination on it's own, it added a salty and creamy combination, yum!!
The top layer took center stage for the roasted tomato slices spiked with a Balsamic Vinegar glaze.
A small disk of mozzarella anchors a sprig of fresh basil and a final chiffonade spreads the basil love around.
No knives required, so it also makes a perfect addition to a Brunch buffet.
Best served at room temperature, this salad guarantees to impress.
I love that this can be assembled in advance and stored in the fridge, just let it rest on the counter at least 1 hour before eating.
Stacked Pasta Salad with Caesar Dressing
makes 4 servings
Herb Caesar Dressing
* 1 Davidson's Safest Choice egg
* 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
* 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (choice of parsley, chives, lemon thyme or verbena, oregano)
* 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
* 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
* juice of half a fresh lemon
* 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
* 1/2 cup EVOO + 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* Freshly cracked black pepper
* 12 (4") squares of fresh lasagna, cooked and drained
* 2 medium tomatoes
* Balsamic glaze
* 4 slices prosciutto
* 1 large portabella cap (about 6-7"), brown gills removed
* 12 thin slices fresh mozzarella + 4 (2") round slices (use a cookie cutter)
* 1 large roasted red pepper or 4 small, sliced
* 4 basil leaves, chiffonade or thin slices
* 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
* Olive oil spray
* salt and pepper
1. Place all the ingredients except for the Romano cheese, into a blender and puree to emulsify.
Stir in the cheese. Check for seasoning and make any adjustments.
2. Preheat the oven to 450° and on parchment paper, arrange the tomato slices and the mushroom cap.
Spray the mushroom cap with olive oil spray and salt and brush the tomato slices with the dressing.
3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and cool.
4. Boil the pasta in salted water for 6 minutes. Remove and place on wax paper.
Slice the mushroom cap into 12 slices.
Slice the pepper into thin ribbons.
Place 3 slices of mushroom on a pasta sheet. Top with 1/4 roasted pepper ribbons.
Place a sheet of pasta with the point clockwise from the first sheet. Cover with 1/4 of the prosciutto slices and then two slices of mozzarella.
Place the third pasta sheet clockwise for the second sheet and top with tomato slices and a disk of mozzarella. Place a sprig of basil into the cheese and drip a few drops of the Balsamic dressing over the tomatoes.
Drizzle a tablespoon of Caesar dressing over the stack and serve additional on the side.