Canlis-inspired Creamy Lemony Tossed Salad with Bacon Croutons
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
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I'm always on the lookout for exemplary tossed salad recipes, and this one will surely rise to the top of the heap. It's an especially handy recipe to have up your sleeve before the tender local greens start sprouting from the soil, which need little more than a tart, mustardy vinaigrette to complement their fresh spring flavor.
This recipe is from Canlis in Seattle, a classic, much adored restaurant, frankly a reason to visit Seattle in and of itself. I was there 15 years ago with my daughter, and I remember the Canlis salad they served, and how much we enjoyed it. In fact, my daughter has insisted since that the best tossed salad use lemon juice, instead of vinegar, as the acid.
Lo and behold that very recipe was recently penned by Sam Sifton in February 28th's New York Time Sunday magazine. This is a particularly great salad as it's tremendous flavor profile would be perfect paired with a simple grilled steak, fish fillet or chicken.
My changes: I rubbed my wooden salad bowl with garlic clove halves, and made the dressing in the bowl. I tripled the amount of cubed bread to make the croutons and used all of the rendered bacon fat to fry them; I used quartered Campari tomatoes instead of halve cherry tomatoes.
I encourage your reading Sam Sifton's as well as the original recipe, which I only tampered with a bit.
Salad hungry, in general? Oh, you'll be happy here.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Time: 40 minutes
4 sliced bacon
3 cups cubed Italian bread
1 garlic clove, halved
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 bunches romaine heart lettuce, chopped into 1-inch pieces (12 cups); refrigerated
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
12 Campari tomatoes, washed and quartered
3/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1. In a large pan over medium heat, fry bacon until it is almost crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Place bread cubes in fat and toss to coat. Toast bread over low heat, occasionally tossing, until bread is crispy. Reserve.
2. To make the dressing (while bacon and breadcrumbs are frying), place a whole egg in its shell in a coffee cup. Pour boiling water over egg and let stand 60 seconds. Remove and cool egg under cold running water. Rub salad bowl interior with cut clove of garlic. Whisk oil and lemon juice together in salad bowl then whisk in egg, vigorously whisking until egg is emulsified with oil and lemon. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. (Note: if you like salads lightly dressed, remove some of the dressing and reserve for another salad.)
3. Add cold lettuce, scallions, mint, oregano and reserved bacon to the bowl and toss. Top with tomatoes, croutons and cheese, toss again, then serve.
Peggy Lampman is a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on her website and in the Food & Drink section of Annarbor.com. You may also e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking for a specific recipe? Click here for dinnerFeed's recipe search engine; type the recipe or ingredient into the search box.