Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Better Than Caesar Salad



Because of the warmer summertime weather we've had here in Denmark, I've been enjoying a lot of BBQ's and salads. Temps have been hanging out around 82-ish Fahrenheit/28-ish Celsius. For those of you who don't know, that's hot for this country. Add on the fact that Danes don't do A/C or ceiling fans, and life can be a bit miserable when you have to turn an oven on.

Today I'm sharing with you my Better Than Caesar Salad.

For those of you who are new around here, I'm not one to follow a recipe very well. I add and subtract various ingredients and amounts whenever I feel like it. I love to experiment in the kitchen, and this salad is a perfect specimen. When I set out to make the Better Than Caesar, I didn't even have a specific flavor I wanted to achieve, I just wanted a good hearty salad. It all just came together organically. So, here's the 'recipe' and I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as I did.

Better Than Caesar Salad

Salad:
Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
Green onions (whites and light greens only), thinly sliced
Zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced fairly thin
Raw peas, shelled
Sun dried tomatoes
Marinated mushrooms


Dressing:
Lemon juice
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil* - see note


I'm not giving specific amounts to the ingredients, I am confident that you are a better judge of your appetite than I am. I feel the same about the dressing ingredients, some people like a lot of salt, others want no salt. I am a firm believer in seasoning to taste!


*I will tell you though, If using marinated mushrooms (which I will provide my 'recipe' below) you will not need to add any extra oil for the dressing. Unless, of course, you like to get crazy and have a little salad in your olive oil soup. Who am I to criticize?


The easiest method to making this salad is to start in a big bowl, something big enough to hand toss the salad. I always start with my leafy greens on bottom and the move to the heavier items on top, because everyone knows the heavy stuff will sink to the bottom. 


After you get the salad in the bowl add the dressing ingredients. Go easy on the salt, you can always add more later. Then just toss it all together with your fingers, making sure everything is evenly coated and the salad ingredients are well distributed.




Marinated Mushrooms:


Mushrooms (any kind will work, if they're small, use whole if they're huge, quarter them)
Extra Virgin Olive oil - the higher the quality oil, the better 
Herbs, Spices, etc... (The batch I used on the salad contained fresh garlic, fresh crushed basil leaves, sun dried tomatoes, and crumbled feta.)


In a seal-able food storage container, add mushrooms, followed by herbs/spices/etc...


Once everything is added cover with olive oil. You can fill the oil to the top if you wish, I usually fill it about 1/3 - 1/2 full and rotate my mixture every few hours. 


The mushrooms are best after marinating overnight , but can of course be eaten sooner. 


After using the mushrooms, you can re-use the seasoned oil for another batch, as well.


Oh, and remember, these need to stay refrigerated!





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