CSA Week 2 & Basil Caesar Salad

It’s week 2 of our Summer CSA, and the green goodness keeps on coming! This week’s box brought us more amazingly lush, crisp lettuce – one romaine, one green leaf, green garlic, zuchini, rhubarb, snow peas, mushrooms, strawberries and mint. Quite a haul! I don’t have specific plans for everything yet, but I did wash and dice the rhubarb and spread it out onto a sheet tray for quick freezing, and once frozen, I’ll stash it in a ziploc bag, and pull it out when the snow flies and I want a taste of summer.

But the first meal from this week’s box was a fresh, crisp caesar salad with homeade dressing. I hope that once you give this caesar dressing a try that you’ll toss that bottled gunk in the trash. And don’t be afraid of the egg yolk – if you’re buying fresh eggs from your local farmers (as you should be this time of year), then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be making this dressing. To add an extra measure of safety, I do coddle the egg briefly in boiling water. The taste of fresh caesar dressing – unctuous, lemony, briny – cannot be beat, and even the salad-suspicious will wolf down this salad. If you’re a vegetarian, simply leave out the anchovy and worchestershire, and add a bit more mustard – you’ll still have an excellent dressing that beats the bottle.

Basil Caesar Dressing
Makes enough for 4 entree salads

10 or so basil leaves, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 egg
juice of half a lemon
olive oil, about 1/4 cup
1 tsp anchovy paste
dash of worchestershire
salt & pepper to taste
2 T grated parmesan

heat a small pan of water and bring to a boil. Add egg and boil for 90 seconds, then remove the egg immediately, and separate the egg, and place the yolk in a measuring cup. Add the mustard, lemon juice, anchovy paste, minced garlic, minced basil to the cup and whisk. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, taste as you go until you achieve the right balance of acid and oil. Stir in the grated parmesan when the dressing is smooth and emulsified, and toss with your greens. Top the salad with a bit more parmesan, and maybe a bit of leftover chicken. Enjoy!

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