GARLICKY CAESAR SALAD … PASSIONATE PIZZA STYLE

This is the Caesar Salad recipe we served in our artisan  pizzeria, PASSIONATE PIZZA in Vancouver,British Columbia.   We tossed every salad to order.   It is the same salad we served in our French restaurant; ROXY’S BISTRO in Regina, Saskatchewan.   PASSIONATE PIZZA was voted Best Pizza in Vancouver and Best  Pizza in the Pacific North West.

GARLICKY CAESAR SALAD  … serves six

1/4 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise.  Health concerns dictated we use mayonnaise in this recipe.

3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, pecorino, or grana cheese (plus thin shavings of cheese for serving  – optional)

2-3 anchovy fillets, drained, plus more fillets for garnishing if you wish

2 generous tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 – 3 garlic cloves, smashed

a good  dash of Worcestershire sauce

a good dash of a Tabasco

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of capers

Freshly ground white pepper

One very large head of romaine or 3 chilled large hearts of romaine

Freshly ground black pepper and  garlic croutons (recipe follows)

1. In a blender, combine the mayonnaise with the cheese, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce and Dijon Mustard.  process until smooth.  Season with white pepper.

2. In a large salad bowl toss the roughly chopped romaine with the dressing, capers,  croutons  and season with black pepper.  Garnish with cheese shavings and anchovy fillets (if desired) and serve right away.

garlic croutons

In our pizzeria we would bake enormous trays of garlic croutons.  You could do the same but at home I prefer to saute the bread.   Slice  country-style  bread in thick slices  then roughly tear into large croutons.  Pour a generous amount of olive oil into a large skillet, toss in a few crushed garlic cloves, and over a low heat let the garlic cloves brown and flavour the oil.  Remove the garlic.  Increase the heat under your pan then add  your croutons.   Brown quickly on one side, then turn them over and continue browning.  It is this heady  aroma of garlic and the rich olive oil flavoured croutons that make this an outstanding salad.  The croutons taste best made fresh so indulge and nibble on any croutons left over.

Recipes for PASSIONATE PIZZA’S await you in MRS.BUTTERFINGERS kitchen.

ALL ABOUT EASTER BONNETS

BEL’OCCHIO    …   the beautiful eye

HAPPY EASTER

Vintage-Rooster-Hatching-GraphicsFairy

When I was very young Easter was as exciting as Christmas.  We always had something new to wear to church. Growing up during the war years and the tail end of the Great Depression   a pair of  white gloves or hair ribbons was a thrilling gift.

My dream was to wear an Easter Bonnet.  Irving Berlin’s song …   “In your Easter Bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade”  inspired me.     I was not exactly sure what an Easter bonnet looked like but I wanted one.

Weather was another problem with my Easter dream.   Cold and miserable.   No daffodils or tulips blooming.  Just snow, or the dirty remnants of it.   Dressing for church meant warm scarves and hats.   Flopping galoshes and  unattractive heavy brown cotton stockings that bagged at the knees.

 The light through the stained glass windows of  St Alban’s Cathedral coloured  the congregation. The air was heavy with the perfume of white lilies on the alter. The oak pews and the padded kneeling pads creaked  and groaned  as we stood and sang, kneeled and prayed, sat and listened.  The pages of the hymn books fluttered and whispered .   And, not one single  Easter bonnet in sight.

I loved the ritual of Easter dinner preparations.  The polishing of the silver.  The pressing of the linen tablecloth.  The setting the beautiful table.    The food  – oh the glorious food.   An enormous ham cut into think pink slices and garnished with home-made mustard pickles.    Mounds of snowy white whipped potatoes  redolent with cream and butter.   And for dessert flaky rich pies.  At least two different kinds.  And, always always a three tired cake plate with delicate cookies and fruit cakes – just in case one was still hungry.

HAPPY EASTER my dear, dear friends.   Now I’m going to nibble the chocolate ears off my Easter bunny.