A touch of Caesar crowns humble spud salad royally

By Jim Bailey

This crazy weather has me grillin’ one day and baking another. Yankee Chef logoIt just so happens that on Friday, May 31, it was in the 90s and wicked humid. So guess what? It was too hot and humid to grill outside and too hot and humid to bake inside. So cold food was on the menu. Again, as I have said a few times in the past, do not let the ingredient list fool you. This recipe is inexpensive and quite easy to prepare.

Caesar-style potato salad

You can serve this with or without the added dressing. But I must say, the creamy yogurt Caesar dressing is what topped this side dish off with that perfect bite. The crunch and acid from the wilted lettuce was the perfect accompaniment as well.

Creamy Caesar dressing dresses up a potato salad.

Creamy Caesar dressing dresses up a potato salad.

Creamy Yogurt Caesar Dressing, recipe below
2 pounds potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup cider vinegar
6 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped
6 ounces frozen peas, thawed
1 rib celery, minced
2 teaspoons prepared, stone ground or Dijon-style mustard
3 strips turkey or pork bacon, cooked and crumbled
Salt and black pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray
1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
3 green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Make Caesar dressing and refrigerate until needed.

In a large bowl, combine well the cooked, cubed potatoes, mayonnaise, chopped eggs, cider vinegar, peas, celery, mustard and bacon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spray a large skillet liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Place over high heat. When pan is hot, add the lettuce, onions and black pepper. Constantly stirring, cook lettuce until just barely wilted and hot. Remove from heat. Mound potato salad evenly among dishes, top with wilted lettuce and, if desired, drizzle the yogurt Caesar dressing on top. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

The dressing

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
2 anchovy fillets, optional
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

Put all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until creamy and blended, about 20 seconds. Remove, transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate. This makes close to a cup.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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