Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

In a change from the usual Chicken Caesar Salad, this week I tried the Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette from Food & Wine. I’m presuming that the jumbo lump crabmeat would be best fresh in this recipe, but as I was unable to get fresh crab, I used tinned.

Rating 7.25/10

Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

Ingredients

Anchovies, Garlic, Red Wine Vinegar, Dijon Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Olive Oil, Parmesan, Lump Crabmeat, Chives, Tarragon, Roasted Red Pepper, Romaine Lettuce. 6/10

Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

Level of difficulty

The recipe is very easy, nothing more difficult is required than mixing. 8/10

Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

Time taken to prepare

There’s no cooking required, so the recipe takes only a short while to pull together.  8/10

Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette

The food

This dish was different to a traditional caesar salad and the crab made a delicious change to the usual chicken.   I was unable to get white anchovies, but I’m not sure whether it would have made any difference to the flavour. The vinaigrette was tasty and had subtle hints of caesar, but that was about as close to a caesar as this salad got.  The roasted red peppers had a lovely sweet flavour. 7/10

Overall

This was an enjoyable salad in itself and the peppers added a great flavour.  7.25/10

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

With the seasons changing and a crisper feel to the air, thoughts turn to Halloween and pumpkins.  I was looking for a great pumpkin caesar salad recipe and could only find this Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds from The Local Palate, so I that’s what I chose!  The original is made with kale, but I chose to make it with romaine lettuce.

Rating 7/10

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

Garlic, Lemon Juice, Anchovies, Worcestershire Sauce, Egg Yolk, Olive Oil, Parmesan Cheese, Pumpkin, Cayenne Pepper, Melted Butter, Romaine Lettuce. 7/10.

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Level of difficulty

Making an olive oil based caesar salad dressing can be tricky, if you haven’t made one before, but that’s probably the most difficult part of this recipe. 7/10

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Time taken to prepare

The pumpkin flesh and seeds need to be cooked separately, which takes a little while and both have to be prepared in advance.  The dressing takes some time, but can be made while the pumpkin and seeds are cooking. This is definitely not a throw it together at the last minute dish. 6/10

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

The food

The basic ingredients are fairly standard, but the pumpkin flesh and seeds add a lovely seasonal twist to a basic caesar salad recipe. The smell of the pumpkin seeds cooking was heavenly and I my mouth was watering before I had managed to finish preparing the recipe.  I used romaine lettuce rather than kale, so I’m not sure how much difference that would have made to the flavour of the finished salad.  The flavours were nicely rounded and the spicy pumpkin seeds tasted just as good as they smelled.  The pumpkin could probably have take a little more seasoning, but it all worked well together. 8/10

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Caesar Salad with Pumpkin Croutons and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Overall

For a slightly different kind of caesar salad, this worked really well and is definitely worth a try when pumpkins are in season.  I think that there is more that could be done with the pumpkin itself and trying this recipe has inspired me to experiment with cooking pumpkins. 7/10

Steak Caesar Salad Supreme

In search for the best caesar salad recipe around, I tried the Steak Caesar Salad recipe from Food Network by Mama’s Kitchen.  The recipe suggests using a ready-made salad kit, but instead I took the opportunity to try the Caesar Salad Supreme recipe from allrecipes.

Rating 6.75/10 and 7.5/10

Steak Caesar Salad

Steak Caesar Salad

Ingredients

Steak Caesar Salad – Sirloin Steak, Olive Oil, Garlic 5/10

Caesar Salad Supreme – Garlic, Hellmanns Mayonnaise, Waitrose Anchovy Fillets, Waitrose Parmesan Cheese, Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, Maille Dijon Mustard, Fresh Lemon Juice, Waitrose Olive Oil, Waitrose Sourdough, Waitrose Romaine Lettuce 7/10

Ingredients for Steak Caesar Salad

Ingredients for Steak Caesar Salad

 

Level of difficulty

Preparing the steak doesn’t require any particular skills, other than making sure that it doesn’t overcook or burn. 8/10

For the caesar salad the allrecipes website is extremely helpful as it it adjusts the ingredients, depending on how many portions you want to make.  It would be even better if the recipe also adjusted to the number of portions as well.  Using ready-made mayonnaise in the caesar dressing, means that you don’t have to make your own, which can be tricky if you haven’t made mayonnaise before.  It makes it a simple caesar salad dressing. 8/10

Time taken to prepare

The steak takes very little time to prepare and cook.  Be careful not to overcook the meat, as it will be tough. 8/10

Using ready-made mayonnaise cuts down on the time taken to prepare the dressing, which is really quick and simple.  Cooking the croutons adds to the time in this recipe, but it is definitely worth it. 7/10

The Food

The steak had a lovely flavour and was very tender, but it didn’t really stand out for me and  I think it would have been as nice, without the garlic.  If I was going to cook a steak caesar salad again, I think I would use a marinade to add more flavour. 6/10

The dressing was simple to make and because the website adjusted the ingredients, the proportions were exact.  I love croutons made this way.  Although they are a little higher in calories, if you only have a few, it’s definitely worth it.

I treated myself to a new grater, which grates the parmesan very finely. 8/10

John Lewis Grater

John Lewis Grater

Overall

The two recipes worked really well together. The steak was very tender and dressing of the caesar salad did not overpower it.  This was a lovely recipe which was very simple to make and tasted great.  6.75/10 for the steak and 7.5/10 for the caesar salad supreme.

What’s your favourite Steak Caesar Salad recipe?