September 29, 2015
Caesar Salad With Polenta Croutons
In this classic recipe from our May 2001 issue, warm polenta croutons add substance to a Caesar salad. For an extra crisp Caesar, use only the Romaine hearts (the inner leaves) and save the greener outer leaves for sandwiches.
- Combine all ingredients in food processor, except olive oil. Pulse to blend. With motor running, add olive oil in thin stream. Process until creamy.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- To make polenta, in an ovenproof pot on stove, bring water to boil. Add garlic and salt. Stirring continuously, pour in cornmeal in a stream and mix evenly. Remove from stove, cover and bake in oven 15 minutes.
- Spread the hot polenta in a 3/4″-thick layer on pastry board. Allow it to cool and firm up. Slice polenta into cubes.
- Fry the polenta cubes in olive oil, turning them to cook them on all sides, until crisp and deep golden on the outside. Croutons can be made ahead and reheated for 10 minutes in a 375ºF oven just before serving.
- Peel garlic cloves and slice as thinly as possible.
- Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a frying pan and heat on low. Add garlic slices and fry until golden. Don’t allow them to scorch.
- Transfer chips to paper towel to blot. Chips should be crispy with a roasted garlic taste.
- Chop or tear lettuce into bit-sized pieces. Toss with dressing, croutons and garlic chips. Top with extra grated cheese just before serving.