The Caesar salad has remained on restaurant menus for decades. Here, roasted capers replace the overused bread crouton in this contemporary version. The capers are crisp little nuggets of flavor. Asiago cheese is a welcome surprise from the typical Parmesan. Serve this salad as a first course or as a main luncheon dish.
Use this dressing on warm boiled potatoes as an interesting variation on German potato salad.
Try this salad on top of a crisp, plain pizza dough.
Caesar salad with roasted capers
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/4 cup large capers, drained and well-rinsed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large egg
3 medium garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese, divided
2 medium heads romaine lettuce, white and light green parts only, torn into bite-size pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place capers and oil in a small, heavy roasting pan. Roast capers, turning a few times, for 18-20 minutes or until crispy. Watch carefully toward the end. Remove from the oven and reserve.
2. Immerse egg in a small pan of boiling water. Remove pan from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Remove egg from water and let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Mince garlic in a food processor fitted with the metal blade while the motor is running. Add lemon juice, anchovy paste and pepper, and process to combine. Crack egg, then spoon it out into a food-processor bowl. Pulse egg with other ingredients until combined. Add oil in a steady stream until emulsified. Pulse in 1/4 cup of the cheese. Taste for seasoning.
4. In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce and reserved capers with dressing and toss. Add the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and toss to coat the lettuce. Place salad on individual plates and serve immediately.