|Caesar Salad with Herbed Portobello Mushrooms|
The talented and creative Jenn over at Leftover Queen is the host for the Royal Foodie Joust each month. Her kitchen is always filled with wonderful Mediterranean aromas and satisfying and comforting dishes. Last month the challenge was won by the kind and creative Brittany at The Pie Lady. The winner chooses 3 ingredients for the next challenge. This month the 3 ingredients Brittany has chosen are :
mushrooms, herbs and cheese
These are 3 ingredients that can be found anywhere in the world which makes participation much easier for all who are up for the challenge. These 3 ingredients are open to wide interpretation which made it a tough choice with all the possibilities. This recipe is for my vegetarian and non vegetarian friends alike. It can be served as a main dish or as a side. I decided upon:
**Caesar Salad with Herbed Portobello Mushrooms**
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovies (or 1/2 tsp paste)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (the real stuff not the dried)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup safflower or olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 large heads romaine lettuce, washed and thoroughly dried, torn into mouthsize pieces
4 bacon slices, cooked, drained and chopped into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup coarsely grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese (about 2 oz)
2 garlic cloves, flattened, peeled
3 large portobello mushrooms (about 3/4 lb), stems discarded, caps sliced crosswise into
3/8-inch thick strips bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Place the egg in its shell, in boiling water for 40 seconds. Remove, run under cold water for 15 seconds to stop the cooking process, then use as directed (This is a coddled egg!!!!)
To make dressing: Add salt and pepper to the salad bowl (This creates a sandpaper-like base that will make the next steps easier). Using the back of a soup spoon, grind the garlic against the wall of the bowl until it becomes a paste. Then add the anchovies and once again use the back of the spoon to grind it into a paste. Follow the same procedure adding the Dijon, egg yolk, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, 1 at a time. Make sure each ingredient is blended into a smooth paste with the previous ingredients before proceeding. Whisk in the oil and vinegar and blend well.
(If you don't have a rough wooden bowl, the dressing can be made (with some sacrifice) in a blender. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, anchovies, Dijon, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Puree. Then add oil and pulse a few times. Add the yolk and pulse a couple more times, just enough to blend it.)
For Mushrooms: Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flattened garlic to skillet and cook until brown. Discard garlic. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and saute until brown about 4 minutes per side. Add thyme in last minute of cooking. Remove from heat. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.
To assemble: In large bowl place torn romaine lettuce, bacon and 1/2 of the cheese of choice. Add dressing; mix well. Top with mushrooms and remainder of cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a main dish and 6 as a side.
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