Caesar "Lite" Salad

Total Time:
50 min
25 min
25 min

4 main course salads or 6 to 8 side salads

  • 1 (8-inch) piece of French bread, crust trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and dried, torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Grilled Shrimp, recipe follows
  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes and Essence. In the bowl of a blender combine 1/3 cup of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the garlic and process on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the olive oil mixture to the bread cubes and toss to combine. Spread the bread cubes evenly on the lined baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

  • In a mixing bowl combine the white wine vinegar, mustard, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and whisk to blend. Add the remaining 2/3 cup olive oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly until thoroughly blended and smooth.

  • Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl and add the croutons, dressing and Parmesan. Toss to coat evenly. Top with grilled shrimp and then serve immediately.

Grilled Shrimp:
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows

  • Olive oil, for brushing

  • Preheat a grill or broiler to medium-high. Combine the shrimp, Essence and oil in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Thread the shrimp onto 4 skewers. When the grill is hot, place the shrimp on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Serve on top of the Caesar "Lite" salads.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

  • Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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