Monday, December 5, 2011

Red Grape Caesar Salad

This salad is very, very simple and packs a LOT of flavor, which is why I like it so much. I'm sure the concept of red grapes in a caesar salad is not new to most of you. It really isn't anything revolutionary, but it IS delicious, and I can't fully enjoy a caesar without them. Normally I toss in some homemade croutons, but since this is going with pizza AND a soup that has bread in it, I kept the croutons out so you won't get bread overload in your meal. Also, sometimes I add chicken and stuff it all between fresh ciabatta for a delicious, albeit messy sandwich. (Really, it's probably best to do it in a wrap. Way more manageable.) Anyway, like I said, for the purpose of this menu, we're keeping it very basic. Because there are so few ingredients, it's imperative that you get the very best quality ingredients you can find (and can afford, of course.)  :)
Red Grape Caesar Salad
Serves 8

4 heads of cold, fresh romaine hearts, well-rinsed, dried, and chopped or thinly shredded (This may seem like a lot, but we very easily ate through two with just four people.)
4 large bunches of plump, seedless red grapes, halved. (I overbuy 'cause I know we'll eat whatever's left over, and I like to be sure I have plenty to work with.)
Creamy caesar dressing (I like Newman's Own.)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, room temp (Really, grate your own. It makes a difference!)

Toss romaine with dressing, starting with about 6 tablespoons. Mix well until thoroughly combined. Add more, little by little, as desired. Do not saturate with dressing or the romaine will wilt and your guests will end up with a pool of dressing at the bottom on their plate. Yikes! Top with a generous amount of grapes and some parmesan.

Note: Both fruit and cheese taste much better at room temperature. In fact, keep them out of the fridge entirely since you don't want their flavors to be altered by the smell of your fridge. To make sure your romaine is totally clean, I recommend immersing the heads in a clean sink full of very cold water. Then make sure they're totally dry so you don't have water mixing with your beautiful creamy dressing.

After.   Laaaaaaaa!


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