This Caesar salad with freshly roasted and cracked black pepper, pancetta, and homemade croutons starts a meal off right. It can also be a delicious meal on its own!
Happy New Year!! I hope you had a good start to 2016! Did you start it off with a bang? Or are you like us and ushered in the new year more low-keyed? My husband and I celebrated it at home with a couple of good friends, good food, refreshing libations, and movies. We stayed warm, dry, and well fed...fun was had by all. Our female friend, who shall remain nameless, clearly had a little too much to drink. The dead giveaway was when she spent the latter part of the night calling me by the wrong name. I am sure she has no recollection of doing so. That's okay my friend who I shall not be named, I still love you!
I am starting the blog off this year with a Caesar salad. My version contains plenty of freshly roasted and cracked peppercorns. Nothing perfumes and envelops your mouth with a punch of flavor like it. The burst of warmth and pepperiness pairs so well with romaine and the Caesar salad dressing. I use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns. Don't have one of these handy dandy kitchen tools? No worries, a flat bottom mug or a rolling pin will do the job just fine. Try to keep some pieces coarse as they are the ones that will provide the best punch of flavor.
The pancetta adds a crispy chew and a pop of color to the salad. If you are feeling lazy like me when I made this salad, pancetta can be found packaged and pre-diced which makes it an easy, tasty addition. And it takes literally minutes to cook. Of course, if you don't have or want pancetta, bacon is always a good substitute (as it always is in my book!).
I will be the first to say that this is not a light salad. But after the gluttony of a high carb, high sugar, high fat, high cholesterol, low nutritional value diet of the past couple of months, anything with raw, fresh greens is a step in the right direction of getting back to healthier eating for me. (I am dipping my toes into the pool as opposed to jumping right in!) If you wish to make the dressing a little lighter, try swapping out half of the mayo with plain yogurt. By replacing only half of the mayo, the flavor of the dressing will not be noticeably compromised.
May the new year find you and your loved ones happy, wealthy, and well!!
ALSO FOUND ON IN GOOD FLAVOR
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