Caesar Salad & a Story Print Recipe Print Recipe

 

It’s funny. I’ve been blogging (on a serious level) for a few years now and I seem to go through phases. I’m currently at the phase where I feel like I just put out recipe after recipe and they all become this big blur that gets lost in the internet.

Something’s missing.

A few weekends ago I was in California for The Big Traveling Potluck and a big take away for me was stories. I’ve gone away from sharing stories and what’s food without the story? No wonder I felt like my “blah blah recipe” posts were just getting lost out there. I have to admit, sometimes I can’t find my voice or I think I’m suppose to sound a certain way. Or I’m just so tired I have nothing to say. Shocking.

So, here’s my story.

 

 

Since we moved to Seattle, we’ve been living at my parents house. Who ever would have thought, almost 30, married with a kid and living at mom and dad’s… Honestly, it’s pretty amazing. If you know my parents, you get it. The past few months our whole life was up in the air and just recently everything is slowly starting to all fall into place. We’re in the process of figuring out if we can buy – well, first trying to agree on WHERE to buy. Thankfully my parents aren’t in a hurry to kick us out. We have their grandson. Of course they’re not in a hurry.

They’ve been so generous so I’m always trying to find ways to “pay” our way. I found that they’re okay rotating between the same 4-5 meals. Not me. Obviously, I test recipes for a living. I try and cook something new 2-3 times a week, branch out from their comfort zone. I don’t know what’s changed, but I’ve never enjoyed being in the kitchen as much as I do now. I simply love the idea of cooking for my family, whether it’s immediate or extended. I think being a mom, I now view food differently. The thought of feeding & nourishing my baby, gives me so much pleasure when I’m playing in the kitchen. Mace will sit in his bumbo and watch me as I go back and forth, blending, mixing, tasting… sometimes I’ll dance. It’s called cheap entertainment.

Just a few things I’ve made my family over the past few months – Kung Pao Chicken, Sesame Chicken Noodles, Avocado Pesto, Halibut with Tapenade, Tacos with Spicy Guacamole, Tomato soup with Sausage, Egg Scrambles, Chicken Lettuce Cups, Kale Salad, Comfort Quinoa with mushrooms and my favorite – Chocolate Chips Cookies. ALL gluten-free!

 

 

A few weeks ago, I decided to make Heather’s Caesar Salad from her new and GORGEOUS cookbook, The Generous Table. It was one of those things I craved my ENTIRE pregnancy, but avoided because of the raw egg. Plus, everyone says how unhealthy it is, but compared to what you get in a restaurant, it’s not that bad.

It was a Friday night. My dad grilled up some chicken to go along with the salad. Mom opened our favorite Chardonnay, Rombauer. Mace just played with his feet while we sat down at our coffee table – our favorite spot to eat. We probably Mmm’d and aww’d the entire time before we ALL got up for seconds only to realize there was 1 serving left. My dad and husband count for 4 people right there. Now we always make a double batch and have enough to feed an army. Still, there’s hardly ever leftovers.

If you’re looking for a salad to serve this Mother’s day, I don’t mean to point out the obvious, but this is it.

 

 

Caesar Salad

Slightly adapted from The Generous Table

PRINT Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Dressing

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijion mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup extra light olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Salad

  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 3 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

For the dressing – bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Add the egg and cook for about 30-40 seconds.

note: this step (coddling the egg) helps rid the fear of consuming a raw egg. Plus it gives it a creamy texture.

Crack the egg into a medium bowl. Add garlic, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice and anchovy paste. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese. Continue whisking while you slowly pour the olive oil until the dressing has thickened. Season with salt + pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

note: extra dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread out the pepitas on a baking sheet. Bake for about 6-8 minutes or until toasted. You may want to keep an eye so they don’t burn.

Assemble salad – In a large bowl, combine romaine leaves and just enough dressing to coat the lettuce after tossing. Taste test to see if you need more dressing. Sprinkle with toasted pepitas and Parmesan cheese.

Serve (or let guests serve themselves) and enjoy!

*gluten-free

note: in the book she suggest using EXTRA LIGHT olive oil so it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors.

 

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  • http://www.paperplatesblog.com/ Amina from PAPER/PLATES

    I completely relate with you on telling stories. On my blog, I connect books to food, but sometimes I wonder whether I’m doing a good enough job at it. And when I share personal posts, I wonder whether I should allow myself to be as sarcastic as I am in real-life. Writing online is tricky, but I really enjoyed what you did with this post. It’s food for thought in the best way.

  • http://twitter.com/MyFoodThoughts Brian Samuels

    Such a beautiful recipe and a wonderful, honest post to go with it. I think we all have ups and downs with our sites… and we just have to keep chugging along. And look what you’re able to produce when you do. Sending you love and hugs!

  • Kelley {mountain mama cooks}

    The stories are what make us unique. The salad looks delicious and I can imagine you all sitting around the coffee table with Mason playing with his toes. It’s a lovely thought!

  • http://www.thelittlekitchen.net/ JulieD

    The stories are what make me follow a blog and keep for wanting more. So glad you had fun at BTP and this caesar looks amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/heatherchristo Heather Christo

    Lisa! It is gorgeous- and I really like the substitution of almonds. I never thought about that as an alternative to croutons. Also, I lived at my parents when I had a new baby and honestly, it was kind of the best!

  • http://twitter.com/FarmgirlGourmet Heather Scholten

    Great post! I can’t wait to try this. Caesar is my husbands all time fave. I agree about the stories and how you were feeling. I think you just hit my nail on the head and I just had an AHA moment. Thanks for being amazing and beautiful, inside and out. It was great seeing you at BTP! Thanks for sharing Heather’s recipe. Yum!

  • azestybite

    I think we all have our ups and downs as far as writing goes. A lot of times I just want to say I have nothing to say but check out this awesome recipe.

  • http://www.bakeyourday.net/ Cassie | Bake Your Day

    This is a beautiful post, Lisa and I totally agree with you that stories are so important!

  • http://www.facebook.com/marianne.trachsel.charters Marianne Trachsel Charters

    looks so yummy!!!! Do you have a recipe for Kung Pao Chicken??

  • twopeasandtheirpod

    Can’t wait to try this salad! And I am not a good story teller. I am a rambler! I need to be better at sharing! I miss you and Mason! Can’t wait until Austin! xo

  • http://www.sweetandsavoryfood.com/ Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats

    I agree….I also get in a rut often showcasing recipe after recipe….without a story to go with it. I need to get better at this!

  • http://twitter.com/LiveInKitchen The Live-In Kitchen

    Thanks for the reminder! I think my stories have been getting lost too. With kids to care for and a house to fix up I’ve often felt like its enough just to get a recipe out there. I need to be ok with less content if I’m filling it with quality. Blogging shouldn’t just be recipes and pretty pictures, people come to read the words too!

  • Aimee @ Simple Bites

    Love this post, Lisa. FWIW, you are such an inspiration and I’m always astounded with how you juggle blogging while adjusting to life as a new mom. Looking forward to more stories. =) And I can’t wait to try this salad dressing!

  • http://twitter.com/HBHarvest HalfBakedHarvest

    Stories are so important. It’t makes people feel like they can relate to you. I loved your honesty in this post and dang that salad is awesome!!

  • http://twitter.com/gimmesomeoven Ali Ebright

    The stories to me are what make this crazy thing we do of publishing content “out there” to actually feeling real. I love it! And love that you have had this time to spend with your parents, and that you all are getting to make some new fun memories together during this season. And three cheers for this salad!!! I’m sure that everyone loved it! :)

  • Liz DellaCroce

    Love this story!!! Even though I can’t have the darn salad – hahaha. I actually make a tasty egg-free version that will have to tide me over. :) xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/tasteandtell Deborah Harroun

    We have been living with my parents for the past 6 months while we figure out our next move, and even though it’s hard to not have our own space, having that extra time with my parents really has been priceless.

    I’m loving this salad and would definitely be happy with a big serving of it for dinner!

  • http://twitter.com/BeautyIntrinsic Intrinsic Beauty

    I can so relate to what you are saying. In starting my blog, I often just stare at a blank screen. The words just don’t come out. I see a picture in my mind, but it does not translate on the page. BUT your stories always do…keep them coming.

  • Christine

    Love the stories behind the posts – sharing is the thing that makes us a community!
    This is a precious time for you all – although living back at home may present challenges, in years to come you will look back and be so glad that you shared that time together.
    Keep up the great work and thank you !

  • WithStyleGrace

    it’s from Steamy Kitchen’s recent cookbook, but looks like Recipe Girl did a review of it (for gf, make sure you use a gf soy sauce) – http://www.recipegirl.com/2013/02/09/kung-pao-chicken-steamy-kitchen-cookbook-giveaway/

  • http://www.facebook.com/marianne.trachsel.charters Marianne Trachsel Charters

    I have her book! Thanks!

  • Kelly Rowe

    I love Caesar salad — and this post made it even better! xo

  • Natalie F

    So happy I came across this recipe!!! I am totally making this tonight!!!

    Thank you. Hope you had a fabulous momma’s day!
    N

  • http://twitter.com/BakerByNature Ashley

    I loved reading your story, lisa. And it was so nice, even though just briefly, meeting you at the pot luck! Hope to see you again soon :) And this salad is exactly what I’m craving these days!