Since The Tasting Kitchen opened in July, chef Casey Lane has been changing the menu constantly. But this salad, a serious riff on a Caesar, has been on the menu pretty much from the start. It's simple to make, requiring only a mortar and pestle and some basic ingredients. (The mortar and pestle are key in making the anchoïade, a Provençal sauce of anchovies, garlic, olive oil and often vinegar.) If Lane has his way, you may see more salads on the menu after the restaurant is redesigned later in the fall: he'd like to expand service to breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. "We'll get dinner down first," says Lane. "But I really love breakfast food."
Romaine Salad with Sultana Raisins and Walnut Anchoïade
From: Casey Lane of The Tasting Kitchen.
part of a loaf of country white bread
1 1/2 cup good quality olive oil + extra for croutons
3 salt-cured anchovies, deboned
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup Banyuls vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup Sultana raisins, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, mortared or chopped into a small crumble
2 heads of romaine lettuce, only the crisp inner leaves
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
a wedge of lemon
Parmesan for grating
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1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the croutons by tearing the bread into bite-size pieces and tossing with a generous pour of olive oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake at until golden and crisp. Reserve.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the anchovies and garlic into a paste. Add the vinegar and olive oil and mix to combine. Stir in the shallots, raisins and walnuts.
3. Dress the leaves of romaine lightly with the anchoïade, being sure to rub some of the mixture into the veins of the leaves. Season with a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Finely grate Parmesan over the top.
4. Build the salad any way you like, but it looks particularly nice with the whole leaves displayed like a bouquet. Serve immediately.