Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Easy Caesar Salad

This is an all-time-favourite salad and it is always at the top list of salad menu in most of the pub & club restaurants

I have modified the recipe a little bit to make it more "user-friendly" as it only requires easy everyday ingredients and the steps are not complicated as compared to the original Western version.

Below is the step-by-step guide:
Crouton = French Loaf + Oil + Garlic

First, you need to have at least half a loaf of a-day-old french loaf to make the crouton.
Cut the loaf into small cubes. Crush 3 cloves of garlic. Heat up 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil or grapeseed oil in the non-stick pan. Heat the oil slowly and turn the garlic occassionally.
When the garlic golden brown and the oil is hot, remove the garlic (before it gets charred)and throw in the bread cube and toss till golden. Drain the bread in paper towel. For a low calories version, reduce the oil, toss the bread well with the garlic oil and brown for 1 to 2 minutes in microwave oven till it gets very cruncy. It is very much your preference either to discard the browned garlic or reserve it as part of the salad mix.
Dressing = Japanese salad dressing + mayonaise + parmesan cheese powder

Japanese salad dressing is available from most of the organic food store. If it is unavailable, you can blend your own version by mixing lemon juice/grapejuice + brown rice vinegar/fruit vinegar +(sugar + salt=> seasoning according to taste)
The amount of mayonaise sauce and parmesan cheese powder to be used is pretty much your own preference. If you don't mind the calories and you like the dressing to be richer, you may add more. Remember not to put too much vinegar or lemon juice or the dressing will be too watery and sourish. You don't want this salad to have too much liquid that eventually your croutons and nuts go soggy and lose their crunchiness.

Go Nutty & fruity = Toasted Almond flakes + dried cranberries

Toast the almond flakes in the oven or fry in slow fire in a pan.
You can also replace almond flakes with toasted pine nuts.
I normally add the cranberries to the dressing first before mixing to soften the fruits. Cranberry is the preferred option then raisins/sultanah as it is softer. You can get it from most major supermarkets in the frozen veggie or organic food section Anyway, just fetch whichever fruit at your convenient.

Caesar salad = Romaine lettuce + Croutons + Dressings + Nuts and Fruits

I used 2 stalks of organic "butterhead" and 2 types of romaine lettuce (green and red). Wash the veggie, tear into small pieces and drain off the water. For this salad, you should do the mixing only before serving. Preferrably store the veggie in a container or salad bowl and leave in the fridge before serving. To serve, combine dressing, browned garlic, olive oil and toss thoroughly so that all the leaves are evenly coated with the dressing. Season with some pepper if necessary. Lastly, stir in almond flakes/nuts, dry fruits, croutons made with french loaf cubes and parmesan cheese.


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