Caesar Salad Deconstructed

We have had numerous inquiry’s over the last month about deconstructing dishes. Being not well versed in the subject ourselves we did some of our own research into the subject.

Any deconstructed dish should contain all the classic components found in the
“original.” The difference is in the preparation. When creating a dish utilizing
deconstructive techniques, the ingredients are essentially prepared and treated
on their own. It is during the plating and presentation stages that everything
is brought together.

However, many feel deconstructed food is elaborate and hard work. For example , someone making deconstructed lasagna may decide to present the dish as a casserole. In this case the elements are cooked individually and then combined and finished off in the oven.

The Cuisineist’s kitchen’s went to work and came up with a deconstructed Caesar Salad.

Serves 4

Ingredients

• 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds
• Four 1/2-inch thick slices crusty peasant bread or baguette
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, melted
• 2 garlic cloves, halved
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• About 1/4 cup All-Purpose Garlic, Olive Oil and Anchovy Sauce (see recipe)
• About 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley.
• 4 to 5 ounces Parmgiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°. Discard the tough outer leaves and trim the tough ends of the head of romaine. Slice the head lengthwise through the heart into four equal quarters, and place each quarter on a salad plate; reserve.

Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil or melted butter. Place in the oven and toast the bread until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Rub each slice lightly with a cut shallot or garlic clove; sprinkle with salt.Drizzle 2 or 3 teaspoons of the sauce over each serving of romaine, followed by some chopped parsley. With a vegetable peeler or plane grater, shave long, flat strips of Parmigiano
over the salads. Nestle the garlic toasts alongside and serve at once. Lemon juice is essential when this sauce is used to dress salads, providing the perfect bridge between green and dressing.

Anyone who experiments in deconstructed dishes has to appreciate the artistic elements of the process. We can all make a grilled cheese from two slices of bread . Playing with the form is fun a and interesting. But when all is said and done , food should first and foremost taste good

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