This is one those dishes where you are going to have to go to a Greek grocery store for many of the ingredients. There are ingredients like Pastourma, Cretan rusks, Saganaki cheese and there’s some more familiar ingredients like capers and sun-dried tomatoes. I served a version of this salad this past week at my latest Greek Supper Club and the dressing was a hit. The flavours of a classic Caesar dressing were there with some Greek accents.
Greeks love small fish like sardines and anchovies and one of my favourite mezes are marinated anchovies, or gavros as we call them. Fresh anchovies are butterflied, salted for a day then they are covered in vinegar and once they turn white, they are ready to be eaten. These are also known as white anchovies and you can find these throughout the Mediterranean.
The second switch in are the Cretan rusks, a twice baked dry bread that is often served drizzled with olive oil, fresh tomato purée, crumbled cheese and dried Greek oregano. I also like eating the rusks with some olives and here, they replace the usual croutons in a Caesar.
Finally, and my favourite is the cheese element – I cut some Krinos Saganaki cheese into small cubes and fry them until just golden and serve them warm as the final garnish to this unique and Greek take on Caesar Salad. All the ingredients can be found at a Greek grocer and you’ll also find Pastourma at Middle Eastern shops.
Greek-Style Caesar Salad With Pastourma and Saganaki Cheese
1 head of Romaine lettuce
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 fresh farm egg yolks
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 fillets of white anchovies (Gavros)
2 Tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp. of capers
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. black pepper
splash of water
1/3 cup olive oil + 2/3 cup vegetable oil
salt to taste
slices of pastourma (fried or as-is)
small cubes of Krinos Saganaki cheese
Cretan-style rusks, broken-up into fork-sized bites
- Using your food processor, add all the dressing ingredients except for the oil and the salt. Start processing on high speed for a couple of minutes or until you have a thick, creamy appearance.
- Slowly pour your oil through the spout until you get a thick, creamy Caesar dressing. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sometimes, some more lemon juice. (Keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge).
- To make your Saganaki cheese cubes, wet them with water then lightly dredge with all-purpose flour and lightly pan-fry in some oil in a pan. Blot on a paper towel to remove excess oil and reserve.
- Rinse your salad greens and hand-tear them then place in a salad spinner. Add into a large salad bowl with the Cretan rusks and add your dressing (to taste) and toss to coat well. Divide and plate, top with a slice of pastourma and garnish with fried Saganaki cheese cubes.
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