This recipe is about a year in the making, I suppose. It comes from a couple of inspirations.
Firstly, from my friend Kathy Romersa. She and her husband Henry were our landlords a couple of years ago, and we have stayed friends even though we don’t rent from them anymore. Kathy is an incredible cook, and when she invited Jacob and I over for dinner this spring she served her caesar salad for the first course. It was absolutely delicious, and of course I asked for the recipe.
Secondly, I was out to eat at a little mexican restaurant in town not long after our dinner with the Romersas, and was told the chicken caesar salad was very good. I was skeptical, since caesar salad doesn’t seem like a mexican food, but it was pretty good! It came out in a wheel of chicken-filled romaine hearts with a little dipping dish of caesar in the center, which was my favorite part about it.
So, combining the two for a lunch-for-one or dinner-for-one, I often make this simple delicious meal. If you prepare a little more lettuce and chicken, it also makes for a perfect picnic with your girlfriends. Finger food salad!
Deconstructed Chicken Caesar Salad
makes 2 servings (one for dinner one night, and lunch the next day!)
1 large chicken breast
salt and pepper
olive oil spray
about a 1/2 head of romaine lettuce
Kathy Romersa’s Caesar Dressing (recipe below)
red onions, croutons, cherry tomatoes, optional as garnish and extra yums.
Split the chicken breast in half lengthwise, and pan fry in a non-stick skillet with olive oil spray, seasoned with salt and pepper.
Wash several romaine leaves. Dry, and set aside.
Make Kathy’s dressing!
Kathy Romersa’s Caesar Dressing
makes about 2 cups
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves
6 anchovy filets
1 Tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1 farm egg (not a store bought egg, since you will be serving it raw.)
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Now, I know it is a pain to get that food processor out and all, but sometimes it is worth it. This is one of those times.
In the food processor blend vinegar, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, mustard, and pepper ’til there are no chunks of anything left. About 30-60 seconds.
(Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a chef’s knife, and the husks will come right off.)
Slowly drizzle the olive oil in while the processor is running.
Add the egg, and process about 20 seconds more.
Sprinkle in the parmesan and zap it for about 5-10 seconds.
Voila! Beautiful Caesar dressing! It thickens as it sets in the fridge, but you can eat it right away if you’d like, too. It will last about a week in the fridge…unless you eat it first.
Arrange your chicken and lettuce on a plate, and put about 1/3 cup of dressing into a little bowl or teacup to serve.
Wrap the chicken pieces in the lettuce (with toppings if you’d like), and gently dip them into the dressing.
Kathy’s dressing will knock your socks off it’s so good, and it’s just fun to eat with your hands in general, so… Eat up!! 🙂