June 26, 2009

Ceaser Salad and Open-Faced Radish Sandwiches


We signed up for a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program this summer for the first time and it's been wonderful. It began the first week of June and goes through much of October. We are eating far more vegetables-- because we're determined not to let the weekly box contents go to waste-- and everything is so yummy because it is in season right now and grown just up the road in Fairlee. I'm also learning more about what's actually in season around here through this experience. So far we've had mostly salad greens-- several different heads of lettuce, bags of spinach, arugula, and other mixed greens. We've also received bunches of radishes in beautiful colors-- red, pink, purple, white-- plus one head of broccoli and some turnip greens. This means we've had entree salads more nights than not for dinner this month. We've had some yummy salads, including this simple ceaser, arugula tossed in e-v olive oil and salt with toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan on top, and greens with brie, caramelized walnuts, and a simple oil-and-cider-vinegar dressing (notice a cheese theme?). I've had to think hard about how to use radishes, as I have never bothered to buy them before. We've had delicious radish-cucumber-lettuce-cream-cheese sandwiches-- and found that radish and cucumber is a common combination apparently, and we had these open-faced "sandwiches" a couple of times-- thin slices of baguette with butter, sea salt, and radish slices.

1/2-inch cubes baguette or other good bread
olive oil

Dressing (made enough for two nights' dinner and we still have some left):
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 flat anchovies, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped (I left out)
2 T lemon juice
2 T mayo
1/4 t salt
1/3 C olive oil
2 T water

1/3 C grated parmesan
1 head Romaine lettuce, trimmed and torn up

Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread cubes with oil and salt to taste and spread in rimmed baking pan. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

In a blender, blend garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, mayo, and salt until smooth. With motor running, add oil in slow stream and blend until emulsified. Add water and blend well.

In a large bowl toss Romaine with dressing, croutons, parmesan, and pepper.

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