Romaine lettuce is the fresh crunchy canvas, but warm breadcrumbs and pecorino cheese are the real stars! This is kind of a wonderfully simplified Caesar salad. I found inspiration for this recipe last year when going to a friends birthday. We were all providing a potluck-style dinner and I was supposed to bring the salad. A quick scan over various food blogs led me to 101 Cookbooks. Wow, what a deep collage of recipes and personal stories! If you haven’t yet wondered around Heidi’s site, I highly suggest you start today.
Read Heidi’s version here.
1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, cut into 1” pieces
3 slices artisan bread (such as sourdough or Pugliese), crusts removed
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
2 oz lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 oz high quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch sugar (optional)
Foodie Note: Sometimes lemons seem extra sour; so if you taste the dressing and it almost hurts your tongue, give it a pinch of sugar to smooth the edges. If you’re bringing this to a party like I did, make the dressing in a jar with a tight fitting lid and pre-toast the breadcrumbs, transport them in a jar as well. Grated cheese goes in a small Ziploc bag. Have salad clean and chilled but completely undressed. Continue with Step 4 when you’re ready to serve.
1) Tear bread into pieces. Using a food processor, pulse bread until it becomes hearty crumbs.
2) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a cast-iron pan to medium heat. Add bread, garlic powder, dried oregano and a pinch of salt. Sauté until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
3) In a jar, combine all dressing ingredients. Screw on lid, shake vigorously; taste, adjust salt/pepper if needed.
4) In a large serving bowl, toss Romaine with dressing, a handful of breadcrumbs and half the cheese.
5) Finish by topping the salad with the remaining breadcrumbs, cheese and a few grinds of pepper. Enjoy!