My Life With The CSA: Hail Caesar!


salad I have been thoroughly enjoying the varied lettuce that comes with my CSA each week. Arugula, leafy greens, and the almighty romaine. It’s not like the lettuce you get in a grocery store that is picked long before you purchase it. You can actually smell the lovely aroma of green.

If I was asked to describe what green smells like I would simply answer: Drumlin Farm’s lettuce. The freshly picked scent inspires me every week. No store bought salad dressing for this gorgeous crop of produce.

I have two go to salad dressings that I make, easy peasy, and so delicious that at least one of the recipes I’m sure has travelled the globe I’ve been asked for it that much. In fact I was at a function recently and the dressing tasted ever so familiar. When I asked where they got the recipe, I traced it backed to me!

Here is my apparently famous Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I like Olio Carli)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (no pulp)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (Grano Padano or Reggiano)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon anchovy paste
  • Sprinkle or two of Kosher or Maldon salt
  • Freshly grated pepper

To toss with the salad:

  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese ( same as above)
  • Ace Bakery garlic crostini (not the croutons)

Directions:
  • In a mason jar mix all the ingredients except olive oil. Give it a really good shake (with the top on!)
  • Add the olive oil and shake again.

Assembly:

Tip: The trick here is to dry the lettuce extremely well. I’m not kidding – you want it bone dry so the dressing sticks to the lettuce. Another tip: sprinkle the dressing over the lettuce so it just coats. You can always add more to taste but you can’t take it out! Toss the lettuce with the dressing.

Add the coarsely grated Parmesan and toss. Crumble the crostini over the salad and toss again.

The beauty of this salad is that you can let it sit for a few minutes before you serve and wow your guests!

Arugula salad is now a new Go To for me. Last Christmas Wayne and I had dinner with my stepdaughter and friends. We enjoyed a unbelievable (I wish I had that recipe) fondue with an arugula salad on the side. The dressing just floored me it was so delicious. You would think we were eating at a fine restaurant but it’s super easy to make. That’s why I make it almost every day.

Maple Sherry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (Olio Carli my fave still)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Sprinkle or two of Kosher or Maldon salt
  • Freshly grated pepper

Directions:

In a mason jar mix all the ingredients except olive oil. Give it a really good shake (with the top on again!)

Add the olive oil and shake again.

Now here is the trick to dressing the salad: sprinkle the dressing on lightly and toss with your hands. This way you can feel how much dressing is just the right amount. Arugula won’t hold up well to too much dressing so add it in layers.

You can use any fine lettuce with this dressing. And if you are feeling adventurous you can add goat cheese and honeyed pecans or walnuts. And maybe even berries.

It’s wonderful what you can create with easy homemade dressings and excellent lettuce. And if you are asked for the recipe please share. You might just find yourself tasting it somewhere you never expected!

About author

Daina Makinson

Daina Makinson is a local Puslinch resident, business owner, volunteer and co-founder of PuslinchToday.

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