Classic Caesar Salad Offers Versatile Delights

Here are a few tasteful facts about one of America's favorite meals, the Caesar salad.

• Named not for the Roman leader but for the restaurant owner in Mexico who invented it, the dish was originally made of greens (classically, romaine lettuce) with a garlic vinaigrette dressing, but now many add chicken, seafood and even steak in its many variations.

• The salad was voted the "greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in 50 years" by the International Society of Epicures in Paris.

• The makings of a Caesar salad also come in a kit. Doug and Linda Woolsey, who owned a series of popular eateries known for a very delicious Caesar salad, created Et Tu salad kits. Here is a recipe from their kitchen:

Caesar Salad in

Parmesan Cheese Baskets

(Serves 6)

2 cups (16 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (grate cheese using the smallest half-moonlike cutting edge on a stainless steel grater)

1 Et Tu Caesar Classic or Vinaigrette Salad Kit

1 fresh head of romaine lettuce

6 anchovy fillets (optional for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Place oven rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make 1/3-cup-size mounds of grated cheese, 4 inches apart on the baking sheet. Gently spread cheese into very thin circles (if too thick, they will not become crispy). Bake approximately 5 minutes until cheese is melted and turns into a crunchy, light golden crust. Don't overcook, as they will become bitter. Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 minute. Carefully remove crisps with thin metal spatula, placing on paper towels to drain. While still warm, place rounds into 6-inch ramekins or over inverted water glasses to shape. Remove from shaping when completely cool. Prepare Et Tu Caesar Classic or Vinaigrette Salad Kit as directed on package. Place the prepared salad on 6 medium-size dinner plates. Place 1 Parmesan Cheese Basket on top of each salad. Fill each basket with remaining salad. Garnish as desired.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
For more recipes and information, visit salad never goes out of style. This classic is a dish for all seasons. It's even tastier served in Parmesan cheese baskets.Note to Editors: May is National Salad Month but readers can enjoy this recipe anytime of year.