Friday, January 11, 2013

Great Caesar's ghost with maple bacon and anchovy dressing

If you follow my Instagram feed then you probably saw the makings of this salad a couple of weeks ago. Since then, it’s been on high rotation on my “what to have for dinner tonight I’m so tired I can’t even think oh I wish it was holidays again” train of thought. 

How are you feeling now it’s a new year? I’m feeling a slight sense of deflation because there’s no major holidays till Easter.  And long work hours after the relaxed Christmas period are always a bit of a drag.

Sorry if this is a downer for you. Let’s perk things up a bit with some Happy Thoughts**:
     Soft cats.
        Fragrant gardenias.
          A clean house.
             Sunny days that aren’t too hot and not too cold.
               A long, cool glass of Coca Cola.
                 **These are a few of my favourite things. 

Which brings us back to this sort-of Caesar salad.  It’s really the accompanying bacon bits and dressing that I keep coming back to. You can change the core ingredients slightly (use cos lettuce instead of mesclun, add some chicken, add some lightly toasted sourdough slices, leave out the boiled egg),  but as long as you include the crispy, sweet and moreish maple syrup-anointed bacon, and drizzle on lashings of the creamy, anchovy-scented dressing, then this salad will also become your happy place. Enjoy!

Essence of Caesar Salad with maple bacon and anchovy dressing
serves 4

8 slices of middle-rasher bacon
4 tblsp maple syrup
Handful of salad leaves or ½ baby cos lettuce, per person
4 soft-boiled eggs

1 egg
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of half a lemon
2 anchovy fillets
¾ cup vegetable oil or rice bran oil

1. For the bacon: Put the bacon slices on a foil-lined tray and drizzle with maple syrup. Place into a pre-heated 180C/350F oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and browned. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before cutting into bite-sized pieces.
2. For the dressing: Place the egg, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and anchovy fillets in a small food processor and mix until combined. Gradually add the oil and mix until the dressing is creamy and thick (about 1-2 minutes).
3. To serve: Arrange the salad leaves and boiled egg in a bowl for each person. Spoon on some of the dressing and top with bacon pieces.

Keep the bacon away from cats, both before and after the oven treatment.

Gosh, how good does this bacon look?

This salad is also good (and more substantial) with some poached chicken and croutons.
I feel better already =)


  1. I've been wanting to find a homemade caesar dressing...this sounds good. And good tip re bacon vs cat (not that we are "with cat" at the moment...but just in case).

  2. I definitely need some happy thoughts and a huge bowl of this salad! It's the only way I'm going to survive this post-Xmas haze!

  3. Very interesting post. i love that for breakfast

  4. Agreed- the post holiday season is always a but sad....though for me, I'm still in holidays so its all good! haha... I've never tried bacon made with maple syrup but it sure looks amazing! ;)

  5. Nice post Bel, and your Caesar salad looks great...perfect egg!
    Have a wonderful week :)

  6. I love your caesar salad and the photos are so good that I wish I could have some right now.

  7. Ooh maple bacon!
    I love this Bel. I believe this salad is the key to happiness until the next round of holidays..

  8. I have yet to make my own caesar dressing! I should probably get on that soon :P

  9. just tried this and this is the best caesar salad ever, hands down! thx!