I absolutely love goat cheese, and I really love homemade caesar – especially when it is not doused with dressing. This salad is inspired by a dish that I had at Michel Richard’s Central restaurant in D.C. When I saw caesar salad AND goat cheese on the menu, I knew it was something I had to try. This is my “home” version of a goat cheese caesar salad adding roasted tomatoes for color and flavor. I hope you enjoy! – brooke’s kitchen —Plum Pie
This is the kind of recipe that has the veneer of a restaurant recipe, but the soul of one by a home cook. It has complexity — a bed of seasoned goat cheese beneath the salad, a sprinkling of blistered cherry tomatoes, and a cap made of a baked parmesan crisp — but each part is easy and can be made ahead of time. So don’t sweat it. Put this on the menu for your next dinner party. One note: we didn’t break up the romaine leaves — instead, we used just the tender inner leaves and dressed them whole so we could stack them up, Suzanne Goin style.
- For the Caesar dressing
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, plus more to taste
- For the salad
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce (or how ever many you are serving)
- 4 ounces good goat cheese
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Mix all of dressing ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Take goat cheese out of refrigerator to soften. Grate garlic and mix with oregano and cream. Mix softened goat cheese with herb cream mixture and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes burst and brown in a few spots. Take out of oven and set aside.
- Raise oven temperature to 400° F.
- Pour a heaping tablespoon of parmesan on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese spacing cheese at least 1/2 inch apart. Reserve 1/4 cup parmesan for serving. Bake for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Cool.
- Clean romaine lettuce and trim. Place between damp paper towels and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Pipe a portion of goat cheese mousse on bottom of one salad plate (depending on how much goat cheese you like). I use a ziploc bag with the corner cut off to make a pretty design or you can always spoon on the bottom. Repeat with remaining salad plates.
- Toss romaine very lightly with dressing (be very sparse as I always put a little dressing on top of finished salad). Divide lettuce between salad plates.
- Divide roasted tomatoes on top of salad. Drizzle about a tablespoon of dressing on lettuce and sprinkle with parmesan. Add parmesan crisp and serve.