Dinner from day two of my farmers market meal plan was potato-leek pizza and Caesar salad. This salad is kind of a “mash-up” of a Caesar salad recipe from the early days of Alton Brown’s Good Eats and a recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli from the latest Food Network magazine. I used greens and Brussels sprouts (yes, Brussels sprouts…you’ll see how I use them in a minute!) from Fall Creek Farms, purchased at the Main Street Farmers Market and eggs from my “egg man”. Local food at its best!
To start off, I preheated my oven to 450 degrees and cut the bottoms off of five Brussels sprouts. I peeled the leaves off of the Brussels sprouts until I got to the point that I couldn’t get anymore off and laid them on a sheet pan. I sprayed the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and lightly salted them. I baked them for about 8 minutes, until they were browned around the edges. I forgot to take photos of the finished sprouts! While the sprouts were cooking, I cooked 4 pieces of bacon (Applegate Farm, not Link 41-saving that for Saturday breakfast!) to divide between the pizza and the salad.
Next, I heated a small pan of water to a boil, then placed an egg in for one minute. I removed the egg using a slotted spoon and placed it in an ice bath. Next, I dumped the bag of mixed greens from Fall Creek Farms into my salad spinner and set the basket down into the bowl. Some of the leaves that were near the top had wilted slightly, so I cracked some ice into the basket and ran cold water over the lettuce..the cold water perked the lettuce up. I let it sit for a while…good thing, because these greens were dirty! I had a good laugh thinking about how “sanitized” we expect our food to be….we are so used to getting “triple-washed” greens from a bag. Real produce is dirty, meant to be washed by the consumer! Another thing that struck me was the fact that the lettuce, besides the few leaves near the top (which was open in the fridge), was still extremely fresh after a week. Again, we are so used to lettuce that has been shipped across the country that we don’t even know how fresh truly fresh greens are!
While my lettuce was soaking, I crushed a clove of garlic in my garlic press and used my knife to mix it with a good sprinkling of kosher salt into a paste.
I drained my lettuce, gave it a spin in the salad spinner, and dumped it into my salad bowl, then added my garlic-salt paste to the bowl. Next, I added about a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of half of a lemon, a couple of dashes of Worchestershire, and the yolk of my egg (yes, it was still pretty much uncooked, and I’m okay with that. I trust my source. If you have anyone in your home that is in a high-risk group….skip the yolk). A couple of grind of pepper and some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese completed the salad, then I gave it a good toss.
Finally, I divided my salad between two bowls and topped it with crumbled bacon and the Brussels sprouts chips. This was a great salad with our delicious pizza!