Sunday, March 1, 2015

wintery caesar salad

hearty, tangy, zippy, wam
Caesar salad is my husband's favourite - he always orders it at restaurants (instead of fries please, upgrade from garden salad) and it is a dressing we make at home frequently.  It really is about the flavour for us rather than the romaine lettuce.  Sometimes though, salad for a meal in -30 C weather just doesn't seem right - you just want something warm and fulfilling - yet at the same time at our house we still crave that caesar salad taste.  This is my winter version of a caesar salad, which satisfies our tastebuds and bellies.  Oh and it's also vegetarian friendly:).

what you need:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 small vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • extra parmigiano reggiano for garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil for garnish
for simple caesar dressing:
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  
  2. Combine all caesar dressing ingredients in a large salad bowl and whisk to combine. Taste - adjust accordingly to your preference (e.g. if you like a tangy acidic dressing then start with 1 tbsp olive oil).  
  3. Prep your veggies - tear kale leaves off the stem (bite size pieces) and wash thoroughly, then make sure to dry them off (use a salad spinner if you have one!).  Wash and peel sweet potatoes, then cut into 1/2" discs.  Thinly slice onion.
  4. Toss sweet potatoes with oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Place on lined cookie sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes; be sure to flip them halfway to get both sides of the sweet potato golden brown.
  5. During the last 10 minutes of baking, cook your onions and kale.  In a nonstick pan on medium-low heat with 1 tsp grapeseed oil, sauté onions until they are caramelized and softened, then add the kale.  Stir to make sure you wilt all of the kale - if it seems dry add 1 tbsp of water.  The kale should be wilted and bright deep green in about 2 minutes or so.
  6. Transfer kale and onions from pan to the salad bowl with your whisked dressing. Add roasted sweet potatoes and toss everything gently together, coating all the vegetables with the dressing. 
  7. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese shavings and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the entire plate.  Enjoy!

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