+ Well Nourished | Char Grilled Caesar Salad

Chargrilled Caesar Salad with maple bacon

My husband used to work as a waiter in Melbourne many years ago.  It’s where he developed his passion for good food.  Since I first met him, he has reminisced and raved about a chargrilled Caesar Salad that one of the restaurants used to serve.  With my lettuce patch in full yield, this is the perfect time of year for me to have a go at recreating this delicious salad.

The end result was well received and my 6-year-old son rated it as his new ‘favourite’ – so I guess I’ll be making this again over winter.

Whilst the processes in this recipe are a little more fiddly than my standard fare, it is anything but tricky to make.  As usual, I’ve accommodated various dietary requirements.  As a vegetarian myself for many years, I also have an amazing ‘Sea Caesar Salad’ up my sleeve for the vegetarians and vegans out there – coming soon!

Until then… A chargrilled Caesar Salad with Maple Bacon

Ingredients
8 rashers nitrate free, free range bacon
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 pieces sourdough
Butter
1 small clove garlic, peeled and left whole
2 baby cos lettuce
¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese
Parsley, to serve
Two eggs, hard boiled to serve (optional)

Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½-1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2-3 anchovy fillets,  finely diced (see notes below if you don’t like them)
Ground black pepper to taste

Method
Preheat your oven to 220ºC.

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Place the maple syrup in a bowl and coat each rasher of bacon in the syrup and lay them in the tray so that the don’t overlap. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the bacon to make sure it crisps but does not burn. Once cooked carefully remove the bacon onto a plate and pop in the fridge to harden.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat a chargrill pan or BBQ plate. Butter the sourdough on both sides. Wash and shake dry the cos lettuce removing any brown or damaged outer leaves. Cut the cos lengthways in half and brush the cut side with a little olive oil.
  3. Prepare your dressing by mixing all of the ingredients together well.  I’m not overly fond of anchovies, but in this dressing, they just add a wonderful hit of saltiness and no fishiness at all.  If you just can’t bring yourself to use them, add some sea salt instead.
  4. Once you grill is heated begin by charing the sourdough until toasted and then rub with the peeled clove of garlic. Cut into a wedge to serve. Next, char the cos for a minute, not to cook, rather impart a charred flavour.
  5. Assemble by placing the cos on a plate charred side up.  Drizzle over the dressing and top with the maple bacon, sourdough garlic crouton, shaved parmesan, parsley and grate the boiled egg over the top (optional).  Serve with a sharp (even a steak) knife so it can be chopped up to combine all of these divine flavours.

 

Once you’ve eaten this, you will struggle to eat your standard Caesar Salad ever again.  I think this is a stunning starter when entertaining or a great weekend lunch.

Optional extras
I love this salad with cherry tomatoes and slices of avocado.  You can turn this into a meal by adding grilled chicken or salmon.

Variations
Gluten-free
Omit the Worcestershire sauce in the dressing and serve with gluten free bread.

Dairy-free
Omit the parmesan.

Low-fructose
Candy the bacon with rice malt syrup instead of maple syrup.

Egg-free
Check out the egg free version I refer to here and omit the grated egg.

 

Who loves a Caesar Salad?  Love to hear your thoughts on this one, post comment below…

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Char grilled caesar salad

  • Judy

    This sounds gorgeous. We love Caesars too. Will definitely give this version a go.

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