I am board obsessed. More and more ideas for food you can beautifully display on wood cutting boards are showcased every day. I just saw a pancake board that looks delicious! For this week’s board idea, I deconstructed my favorite salad into what I call hand salad. Yes, this is salad you can eat with your hands. Think lettuce cups and endive spears filled with salad ingredients.
I merged my classic Caesar salad with street corn filling. Grilled corn is combined with shredded Parmesan cheese and butter cracker crumbs that add the texture of croutons. Truth here; I found a packet of cornbread crisps and crushed those for crumbs in another version of this dish, and it was also delish! Actual cornbread crumbs, toasted in butter, would be yummy too!
I’ve served this dish as a salad first course, and as a hand salad on an appy board. Both were well received. Hand salads open the doors to your creativity. Check out your fridge and pantry to see what you can stuff into a leaf of Romaine lettuce. Let me know what you come up with!
30 minute cuisine
5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 medium lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (2-ounce) tin anchovies, packed in oil, drained
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
For corn filling:
4 ears corn
2 heads Romaine lettuce
Place the garlic, vinegars, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and anchovies into the bowl of a food processor (or blender). Pulse to emulsify. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Taste and season with some of the salt and pepper.
Place the corn onto a grill and cook, turning until the kernels are golden brown. Depending on the grill type, this will take several minutes. Remove the corn and cool until you can cut the kernels from the cobs into a bowl. Add the cracker crumbs and half of the cheese. Drizzle two tablespoons of the dressing over the corn filling and toss.
Cut each head of lettuce in half. Lay the lettuce onto a platter. Spoon the corn dressing over the cut side of the lettuce, stuffing it into the leaves. Drizzle with additional dressing, just moistening the leaves (you don’t want to drown the salad in dressing). Top with the remaining cheese and additional black pepper.
Turn this salad into a finger food by separating some of the inner leaves from the romaine head of lettuce. Place these leaves onto your board. Spoon some of the corn filling into the center of the leaves. The Romaine leaves act as cups to hold the filling. Perfect finger food! Can you find it on the board depicted above? I gotta tell ya, my guests sure located it and ate it gone in no time flat!