Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Caesar Salad with Root Vegetable Croutons

The other day Gray and I were running errands and spontaneously decided to stop by Green Island Farm to pick up some fresh veggies from the farm stand for dinner. We grabbed carrots, sweet potatoes, and eggs but the real highlight was farmer Roy holding little Gray and walking him all over the farm to visit the hundreds of noisy chickens. A sweet baby-holding farmer that allows mama to pick and pack veggies with two hands - total score. 

Later that day, I couldn't stop thinking about this soup (wow, I really made that 5 years ago!?) which is topped with "sweet potato croutons". I decided to experiment with a mix of root vegetable croutons on top of caesar salad. I made this big bowl for lunch (using two heads of romaine) and ate it all myself.  My only regret is not frying up an egg to slide on top.

Caesar Salad with Root Vegetable Croutons 
serves 2

2 heads romaine lettuce
1 garlic clove
1 anchovies fillet
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 a lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups peeled and finely diced root vegetables (I used a mix of carrots, sweet potatoes, red beets and golden beets)
Kosher salt and black pepper

First, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss in the root vegetable cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer. Let the veggies sit and get crisp, toss and allow to sit again. Repeat this process until they are tender and browned all over, about 15 minutes. 

To make the salad dressing, smash the garlic clove and rub it around the inside of a large salad bowl. Put an anchovies fillet in the bottom of the bowl, top with mustard, and mash with a fork to form a paste. Squirt in lemon juice, add whisk while you stream in olive oil (add enough olive oil to make a consistency you like).

Finely shred the lettuce and toss it into the bowl - sprinkle over Parmesan cheese and mix well. Taste for salt and pepper. Lastly, layer on root vegetable croutons.

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