- 1 loaf French bread, crust trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3 hearts romaine lettuce, washed and dried, torn into bite-size pieces (about 12 cups)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, washed and patted dry
- 1/2 cup pitted nicoise or kalamata olives, for garnish, optional
Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
To make the croutons, put the bread cubes in a medium mixing bowl and season with the Essence. Combine 1/3 cup of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the garlic in a blender and process on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the olive oil mixture to the bread cubes and toss with a spatula to coat evenly. Spread the bread cubes evenly on the lined baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the dressing, combine the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, lemon zest, sugar, salt, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of garlic in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to blend. Gradually add the remaining 2/3 cup of olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until well blended and smooth.
To assemble the salad, put the lettuce in a large salad bowl and add the dressing, Parmesan, and chives. Toss to coat evenly. Garnish with the croutons, grape tomatoes and kalamata olives, if using, and serve.
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 Morrow, 1993.