I am a pack rat, especially when it comes to reading materials. Not unlike many food bloggers and their readers, I have a collection of cookbooks and magazines that threatens to take over cupboards, shelves and closet space. Lately, despite having all these great references at my disposal, I keep coming back to my Kindle to search through two e-books: Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” and “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. After reading so much about them through other food blogs, I decided it was time to get my own copies. I can’t believe I went for as long as I did without them.
During my visit to the market yesterday, I picked up half a pound of arugula. I love arugula, not just for its peppery bite, but because of its versatility. Fresh in salads, wilted with onions or garlic, or ground into a pesto – what can’t be done with arugula? I came home in after a particularly long day at work (month-end close, in all its glory), craving comfort food preferably in lower carbohydrate form. I had been thinking about Caesar salad since the weekend, and decided to make my own. Enter “The Flavor Bible”: arugula goes great with cheese and garlic in the salad, and to balance the pungent flavors, sweet cherry tomatoes and creamy avocado are also added.
The dressing recipe I will be sharing with you is a combination of Alton Brown’s Good Eats cookbook and Giada di Laurentiis’ Giada’s Family Dinners. It does contain raw egg, so make sure you use the freshest eggs you have at your disposal or pasteurized ones.
Arugula Caesar Dressing
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3 anchovy filets or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lemon zest, anchovies, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. The anchovies should melt with the other ingredients. In a separate small bowl, break the egg and beat until the yolk and white are well combined. Add the egg to the large bowl and mix well with the rest of the ingredients. Slowly stream the olive oil and continue whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Assembling the Salad
- 1/2 pound washed and dried arugula
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Haas avocado or 1/2 ripe Fuertes (Florida) avocado, sliced
- Pecorino Romano shavings to taste
- Cooked skirt steak or chicken, sliced into strips (we used skirt steak)
Add the arugula in batches to the bowl with the dressing and carefully toss. Follow with the tomatoes and avocado. Shave Pecorino slices into the bowl and mix one last time, trying to maintain the avocado slices intact.