Friday, October 16, 2009

Basil Caesar Salad

Gourmet magazine is no more. But I still have lots of recipe pages ripped from my issues stashed in file folders. It will definitely live on here...

I always have bunches of basil this time of year. Frost hasn't zapped it yet. But I've never been one to make pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays as all the gurus tell me too. So I have to find other ways to use it up. This recipe is one of my newest techniques.

Basil Caesar Salad
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

1 (10-inch) piece baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove
1 large egg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 package romaine hearts (1 pound), leaves separated and washed well, then halved crosswise
1 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Toss bread with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large 4-sided sheet pan, then spread out in 1 layer. Toast in oven, stirring halfway through, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, with motor running, drop garlic into a food processor and finely chop. Add egg, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse until combined. With motor running, add remaining 6 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, blending until emulsified. Add herbs and blend until dressing turns green and herbs are finely chopped.

Toss romaine with dressing, croutons, and half of cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

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