I am a garlic lover. I mean – onions are fine, and shallots are even better – but if you’re looking for the star of the allium family, it’s garlic. Especially roasted garlic, because it mellows dramatically while roasting and develops a sweet flavour. While this recipe for Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad doesn’t call for as much garlic as my Roasted Garlic Soup, it still uses a whole head of garlic. Do not be afraid. The garlic here is not at all overwhelming. It’s likely that once you’ve tried it you’ll never go back to plain old boring regular Caesar salad again.
If you’ve never roasted garlic before, it’s incredibly easy. My favourite way to roast garlic is wrapped in tin foil with a little olive oil in a moderate oven. Too hot and the garlic burns and becomes bitter; too low and your dessert is ready before the salad. You can find complete instructions here, and trust me when I say if you’ve never spread roasted garlic on a fresh, warm baguette, you haven’t lived. How it’s not on more bucket lists I’ll never know. For the purposes of this recipe you’ll need to roast one full head. Once the garlic has cooled after being removed from the oven use a small cocktail fork or lobster pick to remove cloves from skin.
This salad is perfect served with just about any meal because garlic makes a great accompaniment to so many flavors. I love it as a side with spaghetti but it can be easily turned into a main course by adding grilled chicken or steak cut on the diagonal, and served on top.
This dressing will last in your refrigerator for up to a week – or so they say; ours gets devoured by day two, tops.
Be sure to eat this salad with fellow garlic lovers, because you don’t want to be the sole person in the room who didn’t eat garlic.
Bonus: Vampire safety shield. You’re welcome.
Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad
For the dressing
- 1 head of roasted garlic
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Salad
- 8 slices bacon cut into 1" pieces
- 4 romaine hearts washed, dried thoroughly, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
To make dressing, place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Puree until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream to form thick, emulsified dressing. Transfer to airtight container. Refrigerate up to one week.
Cook bacon, using method of your choice (oven, stovetop) until brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel and tear into 1" pieces.
In a large salad bowl, toss romaine with enough dressing to coat lightly. Top with cheese and bacon.