Monday, February 22, 2010

Caesar Salad Tartlets with Roasted Garlic Crusts

This is another recipe from Savory Baking, and it was just as delicious as the Chile-Cheese Bread I posted earlier in the year.  The crust reminds me a little bit of the Basil-Garlic Crust of the Tomato-Mozzarella Tart.... but its better!  Garlic is first roasted, then mixed with butter and Parmesan cheese to flavor the dough, then it is baked in tartlet pans, cooled, and a delicious Caesar salad is piled high inside. 

I made these as the first course for Valentine's dinner, and they were very well received.  I will definitely make these again; they are perfect for a dinner party.  The crusts can be baked in advance, and the vinaigrette can be made 2 days in advance as well.   I am already dreaming up all the fun ideas for using these crusts in other capacities, and I definitely plan on using this vinaigrette for other salads as well.

Such a fun and elegant twist on a traditional Caesar salad!

Caesar Tartlets with Sweet Garlic-Butter Crusts
adapted from Savory Baking, by Mary Cech
makes 8 tartlets

Garlic Tartlets
  • 2 small heads of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Caesar Vinaigrette and Salad
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, leaves washed and torn
  • shaved parmesan, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350.

Trim the tops off the heads of garlic and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and place on a baking sheet.  Cook until very soft, about 35 minutes.  Let cool, and squeeze each clove from the wrapper.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the roasted garlic, cheese, and salt together until smooth.  Add the flour and blend well.  At this point the dough will look crumbl, but that's okay.  Place a generous 1/4 cup of the dough into each tartlet pan.  Press evenly and firmly into the bottom and up the sides of each pan.  Use a fork to poke holes into the bottoms of each tartlet.  Line the pans on a baking sheet, and bake until lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes.  Cool the baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before removing crusts from each mold.

Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette.  Whisk the garlic, capers, parsley, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a medium bowl.  Slowly drizzle the olive oil while continuously whisking.  Stir in the grated Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put the prepared romaine in a large bowl and drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Toss gently to coat, and add more vinaigrette as necessary.  Place a heaping portion into each shell and finish with shaved Parmesan and a grinding of pepper.


Rebecca said...

These would be perfect for any get-together! I love when things are mini. For some reason, it just seems very elegant!

Alaina said...

Looks delicious! Perfect for a dinner party. I love that its able to be made ahead too. Another great one Josie! Thanks :)

Tracy said...

These are so cute and elegant! I'll definitely be making these.

Anonymous said...

So cute! I love caesar salad, so these look really fun!

Linda said...

What a unique treat--fantastic idea!

Anonymous said...

Yum, this has made one of my favorite foods bite-sized! I can't wait to give these a try. I bet those garlic crusts are so buttery and delicious!

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Anonymous said...

these look beautiful!! can you make the tarts ahead of time and freeze? would to make these for a wedding shower.

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