Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Move over Caesar: Meet the Cicero Salad


It's been ages since I had a real Caesar salad.  Salty anchovies mixed with cheesy parmesan in every bite, interrupted by the occasional crunch of a crouton.  Over a decade ago, my husband and I cooked frequently from Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking.  One of our favorite recipes, "Fishless Caesar Salad" was a regular staple in our house.  I recently revisited the recipe, this time removing the gluten, dairy and citrus.  It is still a big hit, even with the changes.  Unable to remember the taste of a true Caesar, I asked my husband (who has no dietary restrictions) if my salad can really be called a Caesar. Remembering back to the time he almost went skiing on the day of a quiz in his Ancient Rhetoric class, he suggested naming this salad "Cicero" after one of history's earliest recorded lawyers.  Like Caesar, Cicero was a Roman. A fiery orator, Cicero was nicknamed "the viper" for his sharp legal arguments.  This salad will make a biting substitute for those who can no longer enjoy the traditional Caesar salad.

Ingredients:

For the Croutons:
(substitute salted, roasted sunflower seeds for an egg free alternative)
6 cups cubed crusty bread (I use Chebe)
2 tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves

For the Sauce:
1 cup water
4 sun dried tomatoes
4 kalamata olives, pitted and minced
2 tsp gluten free Dijon mustard
4 tbsp dairy free sour cream (WayFare brand is soy free)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice (for citrus free dissolve 1/4 tsp vitamin C crystals in 2 tbsp water.  I use Nature's Life Pure C Crystals)
2 tsp red wine vinegar
3 tsp Pickapeppa sauce
1/4 tsp salt

For the Salad:
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces

Directions:
To prepare the croutons, cut each garlic clove in half.  Heat the olive oil over high heat and add garlic.  Once aromatic, turn heat down to medium and add bread.  Toss bread in olive oil and let sit.  Stir every five minutes or so, until bread is slightly browned and crunchy, for a total of about 30 minutes.

While bread is cooking, heat a cup of water to boiling and pour over sun dried tomatoes.  Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender.  Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, add other sauce ingredients.  When tomatoes are soft, mince them and add to the sauce.  Mix well.  Toss the sauce with the lettuce.  Top with croutons.  Serves 4. 
 Source:  www.foodsensitivityjournal.com

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