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Caesar Salad with Seared Prawns, Artichoke Hearts and Baby Shitake

Yvonne Tally
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I call this “Hail Caesar” because it is so full of flavor it makes you want to shout!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

sea salt 3/4 teaspoon
apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup
sherry vinegar 1/4 cup
balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup
lemon juice juice of 1 lemon
Worchester sauce 1 teaspoon
whole grain mustard 1-1/2 teaspoons
garlic 1 clove pressed
anchovy paste 1 teaspoon
parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons, grated small
crème fraiche 1 tablespoon
extra virgin olive oil 1-1/2 cups
prawns 1 lb., 26-count or 24-30 prawns (peeled and cleaned)
dry white wine 1/3 cup (optional)
garlic 1 clove, pressed
Caesar dressing 1/2 cup
hearts of romaine 4 med. heads, washed and cut 1″ thick
artichoke hearts 1 8 oz. box, thawed and drained, baby
Shitake mushrooms 1 cup (whole, if baby; if regular, slice to your liking)
avocado 1 whole, sliced thick
small sugar tomatoes 20-24 (cherry tomatoes may substituted)
carrots 1 cup, julienne
parmesan cheese 1/2 cup grated
shallots 1 whole, chopped fine (about 3 tablespoons)
chives 10 sprigs, chopped (scallions may be substituted, about 1/2 cup)
Big Croutons
whole wheat walnut bread sliced thick, 2 per person
garlic 1 clove, pressed
Italian parsley 1/2 cup. chopped
olive oil 1/2 cup

1. Dressing:
Combine in a jar salt, vinegars, lemon juice, let rest 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except olive oil. Whisk until blending. let foam settle before adding olive oil. Add half the olive oil a small amount at a time so it will emulsify. After it is blending add the remaining olive oil in larger amounts until completely blended.

Second Method, The Pass The Jar Method.
Combine all ingredients except olive oil and let rest for 5 minutes, whisk until blended. Add all the olive oil and shake vigorously until blended. This is a great ice breaker at the beginning of the meal if you are cooking with your guest or family. Just Pass The Jar! This dressing will keep refrigerated for up to one week.

2. Croutons
Combine all ingredients and brush on sliced bread. Set aside

3. Seafood
Combine all ingredients and blend, add prawns a let marinade while preparing salad. Note: Prawns can be marinated for up to 24 hours ahead.

4. Salad
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts and mushrooms and chives. Note: if using scallions, combine all in salad Fill a one gallon plastic bag with parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts and half of the shallots, season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Sauté mushrooms in olive oil on medium high heat for about 4 minutes, or until crisp and deep brown. Reduce heat to medium and add a bit more olive oil and artichoke mixture from bag. Sauté another 3 or 4 minutes or until cheese begins to turn nutty color. Add 2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and scrap the bottom of the pan while tossing the contents to coat completely. Remove from pan and cover with foil or lid to keep warm while sautéing the prawns.

5. Prawns
Do not wash pan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Lift prawns out of marinade and shake gently to release excess marinade. Sauté prawns until pink, about 5 minutes.

6. Croutons
Bake croutons at 350oF for 10 minutes until brown and crisp.

7. Assembly
Toss salad with Caesar dressing to preference. Plate salad and add mushrooms and artichokes. Arrange prawns on top. Garnish with chives and Big Croutons.

Do Ahead Tips
One day ahead; make dressing, prepare salad ingredients, marinade the prawns.

Serving Suggestions
This is also great then next day served chilled. Let the prawns and artichoke set out for 30 minutes before serving. Serve dressing on the side in a small decorative container and let your guest dress their own salad. The prawns and artichoke may be tossed with cooked pasta served chilled or warm as a main dish. It is a perfect do ahead dish for a buffet served chilled.


Yvonne Tally

All stories by: Yvonne Tally