Wilted Caesar salad

Making the wilted caesar salad dressing

Well, it's date night in the Mendelssohn-Natarajan household, and while his kitchen is normally reserved for Raj's skills, I haven't yet cooked my whole rotation of 5 ingredient recipes for my future roommate. This is a modification of a recipe from the 'deconstructed food' trend where you had to mix all the components of your meal yourself. So that the food's more ready for consumption upon table-arrival, I went that extra mixing-step, bypassing appearing food-trend-dated. Beyonce will tell you, any good life event is worthy of hiring a photographer, thus bringing Chris Brown to the table, literally, the table in the kitchen. He knows about 10,000 more things than I do about cooking, because he loves it, so he coached me in garlic-smushing and debated the right point in a recipe in which capers should be introduced to a caesar salad.

Things you need:

  • Romaine hearts
  • Anchovies
  • Bread crumbs
  • Parmesan
  • One lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Capers
  • Garlic
  • Parsley for garnish
  • A mortar and pestle

Steps:

  1. Cut your romaine hearts lengthwise
  2. On a pan, place them with the cut side upward. The open leaves will be holding the rest of the salad components.
  3. Grab a cutting board and a garlic bulb. I found out from Chris that it's much easier to get the garlic out of it's paper with the side-knife-smushing technique. The side-knife-smushing technique is also great for smushing garlic after its been chopped.
  4. Drop your smushed garlic into your mortar and pestle and add anchovies, some oil from your anchovies and olive oil.
  5. Make a paste by grinding those ingredients. It'll take a while, so consider this your daily arm workout.
  6. Preheat your oven to 400 and take a beer break. (every recipe needs one) and 
  7. Then decide if you want to add capers to your dressing now or add them at the end whole. I warn you that capers are very roll-ey: leave them whole at your own risk.
  8. Drizzle your paste over the open romaine hearts and shave parmesan to your cheesy desires.
  9. Pop those in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the leaves begin to brown and wilt.
  10. Plate your salads, squeeze a lemon and sprinkle with bread crumbs over them.
  11. Grab some parsley, double points if they're fresh picked from the garden
  12. Enjoy your date night salad, whether it's your main course or an appetizer, you'll be enjoying anchovy breath in good company.
Romaine hearts cut lengthwise
Romaine hearts
Cut Romaine open side up on a pan
Mincing garlic
Making a garlic paste
Anchovies for caesar salad dressing
Olive oil for caesar salad dressing
Making an anchovy paste for caesar salad
Drizzling dressing while making caesar salad
fresh parsley from the garden
Squeezing a lemon on a salad
Grating parmesan over a caesar salad
Stay-in date night

This post was sponsored by Buffalo Bayou Brewery in collaboration with The Shoe Diet

Photographed by Chris Brown