Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Caesar-like Salad

So I finally took the leap. I switched from supermarket vegetables to one of those organic local farm to door delivery services. About a week ago a friend recommended River Nene to me. I wasn’t sure at first because I was afraid it would be too expensive, but I figured I’d try it out for a week (one delivery), and see.

I’m hooked already. It’s like a whole different world of quality, as well as being better for the planet. We made this salad tonight from stuff they brought us and it was so unbelievably good. I also noticed right away that even though the product it’s self is a little more expensive then what you would get in the supermarket, you kind of build your menu around what you receive, so you wind up buying less other stuff. That seems to be the case for now anyway. I’ll keep you informed about how it goes. What I know right now is that after trying one salad, I have decided to switch from the “small box” to the “large box”. If you are in the UK, try this place just once, see if they don’t convince you.

Also, it was really nice to be washing vegetables because they had dirt on them, as opposed to scrubbing the weird waxy feeling chemical coating off of them.

So here’s what I made:
For the salad
Small head of lettuce, torn
Large handful of watercress, torn
Mushrooms, sliced
A couple of anchovies
A handful of pine nuts
Parmesan cheese

Toss the leaves together with a small amount of dressing (see below), just to lightly coat. Toss in the mushrooms. Divide into dishes and sprinkle over the pine nuts, lay a couple of anchovies on top, and use a vegetable peeler to shave some parmesan onto each one.

For the dressing I checked Food to Live By. Here’s what I got:
Caesar Vinaigrette
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1tsp anchovy paste (I used a few anchovy fillets)
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the garlic, mustard, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce in a small bowl, and using a fork, mash into a paste.
Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Continue to whisk until the dressing thickens. Can be refrigerated, covered for up to 1 week, bring back to room temperature before using.

To be honest, I used a food processor. I was using whole anchovy fillets, and I didn’t feel like trying to mash them with a fork. The processor worked just as well.

This dressing was so good. This salad was so good. This was all so good you really should just try it!

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