Let’s start off with some dog pictures, shall we? After all this is a food/recipe blog 😉
We’ve been taking Duke for long walks most days and on this day he decided that laying down in a murky swamp was a good idea. Cool Duke, cool.
Lucy by the lake! She LOVES when I take her to my friends lake house.
Ok now onto food, I believe I shared in a recent post that we were able to get our hands on some Ramps!
If you’re unfamiliar with what a ramp is, they are a spring onion that grows in the wild between the months of April and June. Since they do grow at random, they can be hard to locate. Most local farms should have some, and potentially at whole foods? I haven’t checked there yet. We found them at our local cheese shop that partners with a local farm to sell some produce. I was like OMG GIVE ME ALL THE RAMPS. It’s the little things in life these days 🙂 hah
We used some in our scallion pancakes and decided to use the rest to make a charred ramp butter
Ramps have a mild onion/garlic flavor and are just so so delicious. For the butter heat up a grill, grill pan, or even cast iron skillet to high heat. Drizzle the ramps with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook them until they get nice and charred. It will only take a few minutes. Then add them to a food processor with a stick (or two) of room temperature butter. If the butter is unsalted, add a generous pinch of salt. And that’s it! You can do this same process with scallions as well, and maybe throw in a clove of garlic to the food processor to get a similar flavor profile.
We put the ramp butter on my homemade country loaf. Although it would be delicious tossed with some cooked pasta, grilled vegetables, on top of steak or salmon, etc. With butter in general the possibilities are pretty much endless. I slightly adapted a recipe out of the baking with Julia Child cookbook. I want to make it one more time and tweak it slightly before sharing.
I was very pleased with the results. I’ve realized that sourdough baking is not for me, but baking with yeast is something I can handle!
Moving onto Chef Maju’s Caesar Salad! When we went to my best friend Eliza’s wedding last September in Newport, Rhode Island we ate approximately 5 caesar salads in a 2 day time span. There is something about a classic caesar salad that when done right is just so satisfying and delicious.
A couple things about Maju’s ceasar dressing recipe..
- Don’t Fear the amount of anchovy!! This recipe also makes a TON of dressing (like 3 cups worth) so you can definitely cut this recipe in half. (I also when he was making the dressing was like omg why so much anchovy and then he got mad at me lol but trust me it is not too much, it’s the perfect amount)
- The recipe calls for raw egg yolks which is a common emulsifier in caesar dressing. I would make sure that you are using organic, higher quality eggs.
Maju’s Caesar Salad with Garlic Butter Croutons
For the Dressing (Makes about 3 cups)
- 2 tins of anchovies
- 2 egg yolks
- 1.5 tbsp capers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 10 confit garlic cloves (see note below)
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons worth)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups olive oil
- In a blender or food processor, add in anchovies, egg yolks, capers, garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and black pepper. Blend until combined.
- With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the canola oil followed by the olive oil and make sure everything emulsifies together.
- Season to taste.
For the Garlic Butter Croutons:
- 1 loaf of sesame bread, (or any country italian loaf, ciabatta, etc) torn into bite sized pieces
- 10 confit garlic cloves (see note below)
- 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a blender or food processor, blend together garlic cloves, butter, olive oil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to a small sauce pot and cook on low just until the butter is melted.
- Place bread pieces on a baking sheet and pour the melted butter mixture over to fully coat the bread pieces. You want all the pieces nice and coated with the butter mixture.
- Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes until nice and golden brown, stirring half way through the cooking process.
- Allow to cool.
For the Salad Assembly:
- 6 Heads of Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
- 1.5 cups of shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 bunch of scallions (about 6), chopped.
- Garlic Croutons
- Caesar Dressing
- Salt and Pepper
- Toss together the lettuce, parmesan cheese, and scallions in a large bowl.
- Toss with enough dressing to fully coat the lettuce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top with croutons and serve.
A note on garlic confit: Most grocery stores in the olive bar section will sell roasted garlic cloves, feel free to buy and use those. It is also easy to make your own.
- Peel 2 heads worth of garlic cloves.
- In a small sauce pot, place the garlic cloves in and pour over enough olive oil over to fully coat the cloves. Feel free to add in a sprig of thyme/rosemary/or oregano if you have it. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool. The garlic cloves in the olive oil will keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
This salad goes great with grilled chicken, shrimp, steak, whichever you prefer.
This was definitely one of my favorite quarantine meals yet.
The process is a little involved (chefs ugh always making everything so complicated 😉 ) But it is fun to challenge yourself and try something a little more complex every now and then. It is really so delicious and so worth the extra effort!