caesar salad + roasted garlic compund butter

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I've been in a fog of playoff dreaming the last day or so.

My beloved Canucks have only 4 more wins to go.

I'm beyond freaking out. The husband is already planning where he will be on the parade route.

I know, I know, we still haven't even started the season, but it's just nice to think about.

Back to a few days ago on game day. It was kind of nice outside and I was feeling like something a little lighter for dinner. Of course I thought a salad would be amazing. Caesar salad is even better. Who doesn't love garlic breath?

But of course, the husband thought well a salad clearly isn't enough food. Dilemma.

Solution - carbs. Baguette style. With compound butter.

Roasted garlic compound butter. Settled, done. But in my lady brain, I like to make things pretty when I eat them, so I decided to add some chopped parsley to give it some greenery.

husband - " What are you adding?"
me - "Pars-ahh-lee"
husband - " You mean pars-lee"
me - " no I mean , Pars-ahh-lee"
husband - " it's pronounced pars-lee."
me - " Quiet you."
husband - " you're insane."

Cats stare quizzically. Note : in real life this conversation went on for 20 minutes.

Maybe I pronounced wrong, whatever it was crazy delicious. Perfect with the salad. If you've never made homemade Caesar dressing, you are missing out. Garlicky, lemony, peppery and bright, paired with crisp romaine lettuce and crunchy, buttery homemade croutons. Amaze-balls. And the butter. Oh the butter. I could eat it with a spoon.

Caesar Salad

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 loaf rustic Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes OR leftover bread crusts cut into 1-inch-ish pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk or 1 teaspoon mayonnaise if raw eggs aren't your thing
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bit-sized pieces
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter and oil, add bread cubes (or crusts) and toss to thoroughly coat. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and toss to combine well. Spread bread cubes on to a baking sheet, in a single layer and bake until croutons are a lovely golden brown, about 10 minutes. Start checking halfway through as they can burn quite easily.

In the bottom of a wooden bowl or in a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the garlic, anchovies and salt. Using a fork, mash until the mixture becomes a paste. Whisk in pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard and the egg yolk until completely blended. Whisking quickly, gradually pour in the olive oil making sure the oil emulses well with the rest of the ingredients.

Add lettuce and croutons to bowl and toss well to combine. Serve as a side dish or with some grilled chicken for a main dish.

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter

1 head roasted garlic (instructions here)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine garlic, butter and parsley. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with bread. Or melt and drink.