Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad

A Caesar salad on a wood plate on a wood surface.

The Best Ever Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad

This roasted garlic Caesar salad isn’t strictly a Caesar because I have added some toppings that I enjoy and that I think you will enjoy as well, namely chopped dill and mint + pecorino breadcrumbs. Putting seasoned, cheesy, crunchy breadcrumbs on a salad is like putting croutons on a salad but it doesn’t hurt your mouth as much. Have I beat the breadcrumb thing to death yet? This is how I cook. I make something, then I make other things using that thing. By my calculation I have one more meal to make with the remaining pecorino breadcrumbs in my pantry. Any ideas? 

 

This recipe is from the Roberta’s Pizza cookbook. Actually the whole salad is a classic Roberta’s jam. I can’t find any info about their addition of mint and breadcrumbs but when I lived in Brooklyn we lived on the same street and I ate this like 1-2x a week. Can anyone out there confirm if they are still making their Caesar this way? 

 

A Caesar salad on a wood plate on a wood surface.

Anyway, I recommend little gem lettuce for any salad, but especially this one. The crisp little nooks capture all the dressing and breadcrumb crunchies. Little gem is like romaine but a mini version, with small and very crisp leaves. Typically found at farmer’s markets but I have been seeing it pop up at Whole Foods.

How to Make Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Speaking of breadcrumb crunchies, here’s a little mini recipe on how to make the best breadcrumbs using up your day old or leftover bread. 

Breadcrumbs

4 cloves garlic

5 ounces sourdough or other crusty bread, crust removed, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3 Tbsp grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

¼ cup olive oil

Heat oven to 400F. 

Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add bread, lemon zest and cheese and pulse until coarse crumbs form; season with salt and pepper.

Heat  oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Cook breadcrumb mixture, stirring often, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer breadcrumb mixture with a slotted spoon to a rimmed baking sheet. 

Toast in the oven for 3-4 minutes until evenly brown and crisp. Let cool completely. Store in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks. 

A Caesar salad on a wood plate on a wood surface.
A Caesar salad on a wood plate on a wood surface.

Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad

Kick your Caesar salad up a notch.
P R I N T P I N R A T E
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings
Cost: 5

Ingredients

  • 2 heads little gem lettuce or romaine
  • 1 whole head garlic roasted
  • 1 raw clove garlic
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 anchovies
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • Salt/pepper
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup pecorino breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Remove root end from lettuce and separate into leaves, then chop into 2" pieces.
  • Combine roasted and raw garlic, mustard, vinegar, yolks, anchovies and lemon juice in a food processor. With the motor running, very slowly stream in olive oil until dressing is thick and opaque. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle dressing over salad leaves, the top with mint, dill and breadcrumbs. Serve with additional lemon if desired.
Use fresh, farmer's market eggs or pasteurized egg yolks.

Notes

Use fresh, farmer's market eggs or pasteurized egg yolks.

How to Roast Garlic

Heat oven to 400F. Take 4-5 (or more or less) whole heads of garlic and cut the pointed top off with a serrated knife so that most of the garlic cloves are now exposed to air. Place in a oven-safe dish and drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with a lid or cover tightly with foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Check them around 20 minutes. The garlic cloves that you can see at the top should be a toasted, caramel color and tender when pierced with a knife. 

Let them cool completely and you should be able to squeeze them right out of their skins.

A Caesar salad on a wood plate on a wood surface.
A Caesar salad on a wood plate on a wood surface.

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