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
- Bread crumbs
- One lemon
- Olive oil
- Parsley for garnish
- A mortar and pestle
- Cut your romaine hearts lengthwise
- On a pan, place them with the cut side upward. The open leaves will be holding the rest of the salad components.
- 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.
- Drop your smushed garlic into your mortar and pestle and add anchovies, some oil from your anchovies and olive oil.
- Make a paste by grinding those ingredients. It'll take a while, so consider this your daily arm workout.
- Preheat your oven to 400 and take a beer break. (every recipe needs one) and
- 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.
- Drizzle your paste over the open romaine hearts and shave parmesan to your cheesy desires.
- Pop those in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the leaves begin to brown and wilt.
- Plate your salads, squeeze a lemon and sprinkle with bread crumbs over them.
- Grab some parsley, double points if they're fresh picked from the garden
- Enjoy your date night salad, whether it's your main course or an appetizer, you'll be enjoying anchovy breath in good company.