9 April 2013

Salad Season is Here!!!! Celebrate with Caesar Salad in a Parmesan Cheese Basket

Caesar Salad in a Parmesan Cup

Salad season is here so let's celebrate!!! To start the season off right I made one of the most popular salads of all time, once called "the best thing coming out of the America's" by those in Paris. Instead of Parmesan cheese in the salad this garlicky Caesar salad with crisp, salty bacon and homemade croutons is piled high into Parmesan cheese cups. It makes a beautiful presentation and will make your guests feel loved!

Caesar salad is not named after the Roman emperor but for Caesar Cardini. There are very few people still around who would have witnessed the original salad in the making. When Julia Child was about 9 years old her parents took her to his restaurant in Tijuana, just the other side of the border from San Diego. As excerpted from her book, "When Caesar Cardini first served his famous salad in the early 1920s, he used just the hearts of the romaine lettuce, the tender short leaves in the centre, and he presented them whole. The salad was tossed and dressed, then arranged on each plate so that you could get your hands into it and pick up each leaf by its short end and savour every bite. Many customers didn't like to get their fingers covered with egg-and-cheese-and-garlic dressing, so he changed to the conventional torn leaf type of salad. Too bad, since the salad lost much of its individuality and drama." In the past I have resurrected the original Caesar salad from Caesar's at home... providing my guests with plenty of big paper napkins. I love to eat with my hands!!! It's so primal!!! This salad is a little less messy since you can pick up the entire basket with your hands or use a knife and fork. So let's celebrate!!!

**Caesar Salad in a Parmesan Cheese Basket**
From the More Than Burnt Toast Kitchen

2 cups (16 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 fresh head of romaine lettuce, broken into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup of your favourite Caesar dressing
4 slices of bacon
6 anchovy fillets (optional for garnish)
Homemade croutons

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make 1/3-cup-size mounds of grated cheese, 4 inches apart on the baking sheet. Gently spread cheese into very thin circles (if too thick, they will not become crispy).

Bake approximately 5 minutes until cheese is melted and turns into a crunchy, light golden crust. Don't overcook, as they will become bitter. This can be tricky so have a look at your cheese rounds at the 4 minutes mark.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 minute. Carefully remove crisps with thin metal spatula, placing on paper towels to drain. While still warm, place rounds into 6-inch ramekins or over inverted water glasses to shape into a bowl. Remove when completely cool.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan cook bacon slices until crispy. Drain on paper towelling and break into pieces.

Prepare Caesar salad dressing. In a bowl mix romaine lettuce, bacon pieces and dressing. Toss lightly to coat. Place the prepared salad into your Parmesan cheese basket. Place on 6 medium-sized dinner plates, grind black pepper on top and sprinkle with homemade croutons.

Serves 6

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

22 comments:

  1. I love the presentation of this salad! Scrumptious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Da gusto ver las ensaladas...son sanas y ricas, en Galicia, seguimos como en invierno, con platos de cuchara...esperando a que el sol nos de un poco de tregua y ponernos a darle fuerte a las ensaladas!
    La tuya es estupenda!

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    1. It's nice to see ... salads are healthy and delicious, in Galicia, we and winter, with stews ... waiting for the sun to give us a bit of respite and get to give strong to salads!
      Yours is great!

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  3. I too love the presentation!
    We still have lots of snow..but I made salad for lunch too:) Found figs yesterday how could I resist!

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  4. What a delicious idea! I'll be adding those anchovies as well.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. Looks delightful, perfect for the lovely Spring weather we're having!

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  6. That parmesan basket is so cute! It really makes this salad a WOW.

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  7. I just made Caesar salad with parmesan tuiles for our dinner last night! I love the idea of making them into little baskets. I would have to make a bigger one for my hubby :)

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    Replies
    1. Ha! The recipe does make 6 baskets, so he could several:D

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  8. I would enjoy this salad a lot, hope the weather is nice!

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  9. I love the presentation - I often do this with fricos and the basket is a grand idea. Of course, salad weather seems to be in May this year. We're in the midst if a 3-day snowstorm.

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  10. I adore this salad Val and Caesar salad is my favorite!!

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  11. I just added salad to our menu next week - you're right, tis the season!

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  12. Yay for salad season! This is ingenious, Val!

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  13. That looks so cool! I want to do this for a dinner party. How long can the parm cheese cups sit before being eaten?

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    1. The recipe made four and yesterday I had another Parmesan nest with salad 2 days later so if they are kept in a tin I would say a few days at least at room temperature.

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  14. Very cool idea! We love Caesar's salad and I've got a cookbook from a couple of local authors that tell the story you've mentioned. I love that it was just a fluke. We eat salad all year long here but it's been a while since we've had a Caesar.

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  15. oh Val isn't that fun?
    And it came out perfectly too.
    I love this!!

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  16. what a terrific idea! i'll be honest and say that i've never actually eaten a caesar salad, but i can totally appreciate your crafty bowl!

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  17. Great idea and how tasty. Eating salads can be fun. My teenagers would love this idea!

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  18. Val I was going to do this next week for a little dinner party....it looks great and I can just imagine the taste.

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  19. Brilliant idea with the parmesan basket!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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