Crouton Cups with Caesar Salad Filling
March 19, 2012 in Vegetarian Entrees
Is your favorite part of a Caesar salad the crispy, garlicky croutons? Me too!
Oh sure, the Romaine serves an important part, too – holding that creamy, cheesy, salty dressing. But. The croutons – that’s where it’s at for me.
Though most Americans think the mighty Caesar is an American creation, did you know that the Caesar Salad is actually a dish created in Mexico as a desperation dish by a restaurant chef in Tijuana, Mexico? Who knew?
So because of my crouton addiction, I came up with a way to make the croutons the main focus – and not just sprinkled on top of greens – with these crispy crouton cups.
Just a few tricks, really. Make sure the bread you use is very thin and very firm. No “air bread” allowed. Second, you must use real butter or extra virgin olive oil to give these crouton cups a rich flavor. Lastly, use a good quality powdered garlic for this recipe. I am partial to Williams-Sonoma’s Roasted Garlic Powder for its rich, roasted flavor.
You can use any salad you like in these crouton cups – just modify the herbs and spices you’re using to fit the filling.
Serve these at your next party and I promise you’ll get rave reviews!
– posted by Donna
CROUTON CUPS WITH CAESAR SALAD
Makes 12 appetizers
12 very thin slices firm white bread
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon each dried thyme and dried parsley leaves
Freshly cracked black pepper
3 cups diced chilled Romaine lettuce
¼ cup chilled Caesar salad dressing
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut bread slices into 4 inch squares, removing crusts. Lightly brush both sides of bread squares with butter. Mix together the garlic and herbs and sprinkle over both sides of bread squares.
Using a 12-cup muffin pan, press one bread slice into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly. Edges of bread squares will stick up slightly out of muffin cups.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp, watching closely so as not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool.
Toss lettuce with Caesar dressing and then spoon into bread cups. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on tops. Serve immediately.
Other blogger’s takes on the Mighty Caesar:
Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen created a healthified version of Kale and Romaine Caesar
Love the homemade croutons at Love and Olive Oil
Lydia highlights anchovy paste at The Perfect Pantry
How about a Smoky Spanish twist on Caesar at Family Style Food?
The Caesar Wrap looks yummy at Eclectic Recipes