Tri-Colore Salad with Frico Crackers and Caesar "Vinaigrette"

Cooking notes: Make the dressing a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. It likes to sit, so the garlic and anchovy flavors can bloom. You can also make the frico crackers a day ahead and keep them at room temperature wrapped in plastic.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 5 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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For the dressing:

3 medium garlic cloves

6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced

1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 dash hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

1/2 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup pure olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

For the crackers:

2 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan

3 heads endive, cored and separated into whole leaves

1 head radicchio, separated into whole leaves

3 cups lightly packed arugula, stems removed

1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan


  1. To make the dressing: Chop and smear the garlic with the anchovies and salt until you create a smooth paste. Add the paste to a small bowl. Add the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and lots of pepper. Mix well. Whisk in the olive oil gradually. Add the cheese and whisk again. Set the dressing aside for 1 hour or longer (if overnight, refrigerate the dressing and bring it to room temperature about 1 hour before serving). Makes about 1 cup. (You can put all of the ingredients into a jar, cover tightly with a lid and shake to blend. This is a great way to store the dressing.)
  2. To make the crackers: Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the cheese into the pan so it forms a lace-thin layer that fills the bottom of the skillet. The cheese will bubble in the pan. When the top side of the cheese has reached a pale gold color, after 3 to 4 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and allow the cheese to firm up for 1 minute. Carefully turn the cheese over with a spatula, return to heat, and cook until cheese is golden on both sides, about 1 more minute. Remove the cracker and drain it on paper towels to absorb any excess fat. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels and repeat the process 5 more times with the remaining cheese.
  3. In a large bowl combine the endive, radicchio, and arugula. Drizzle enough dressing over the top to lightly coat the leaves (you may not need all the dressing). Toss to coat the leaves evenly. Arrange the leaves on serving plates. Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan over each salad. Split each cracker into 2 or 3 pieces and garnish the salads with them. Serve immediately.
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