As we enter deeper into isolation and social distancing, it seems fresh veg is easier to seek out than we might have thought

Earlier in our Keeping in Contact blogs, Wez gave us some tips on making delicious pasta from store cupboard staples. Now, he’s back with another installation of Pandemic Plates, to keep you well-fed and cheery through the lockdown.

Hey again,

So the first dish was made out of store cupboard favourites, however, as we enter deeper into isolation and social distancing, it seems that fresh veg is easier to seek out than we might have thought. Plus, we all probably need a good dose of fresh greens. So today we are making a salad. But we all also deserve a rich, naughty sauce to treat ourselves for isolating so well… it’s going to be a ‘Kind of Caeser Salad’ made out of bits I’ve had lying around, so feel free to improvise yourself!

Kind of a Caesar Salad… Salad

This might infuriate traditionalists… But frankly I don’t care.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 romaine lettuce (This is the traditional Caesar salad leaf, but throw in what you have along as it doesn’t get soggy too easily)
  • 4 spring onions (Alternatively red onion – Yes, we know these aren’t usually in a Caesar salad…)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (You may have noticed this was in my last recipe as it goes a long way. You could use Pecorino instead)
Croutons
  • 100mil rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bagels (We had them lying around. Use stale bread if you want to be proper)
Salad Dressing

There will be enough for left overs which you can use as a dip for bread or whatever you fancy. It lasts for 3 days in the fridge. I like my sauce quite thick.

  • 250 mil extra virgin olive oil (If you have had the oil for a while taste it and make sure it is not bitter. Oil is not for ageing. If in doubt, go for rapeseed oil)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tin anchovies
  • 2 egg yolks
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Pour the rape seed oil for the croutons into bowl and add the dried herbs. Leave to infuse for at least an hour.
  2. Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a measuring jug. Leave to infuse for at least an hour.
  3. Heat oven to 160 degrees. Cut the bagels into inch thick pieces, dip in infused rapeseed oil and put on a baking tray. Put the bagel pieces in the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Whilst the croutons are baking, chop the anchovies finely and add to mixing bowl. Crush them further in the mixing bowl and add the two egg yolks.
  5. Whisk egg yolks and add the infused olive oil very slowly. Once the dressing begins to thicken you can start adding the oil at a faster rate. If you add the oil too quickly, the dressing will split.
  6. Once the oil is whisked in and you have a lovely thick dressing, whisk in lemon juice and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season to taste, although the anchovies should have added enough salt.
  7. Tear, wash and the dry lettuce leaves and finely slice spring onions. Add these to a salad bowl.
  8. Stir in 2 tablespoons of salad dressing – more or less if you would like – until it is well covered.
  9. Plate up the salad leaves and add croutons and large curls of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to serve.

 

Top Tips

  • This dish is pescatarian though you can make the recipe vegetarian by taking out the anchovies. It will still be delicious.
  • All produce has different strengths of flavour. Taste your dressing as you add seasoning and lemon juice.
  • If your dressing splits either add a tsp of water and whisk, or simply whisk vigorously.

KEEP IN CONTACT

We are all going through a trying time right now as we face the COVID-19 virus and to reflect these changing times and embrace the Contact philosophy of providing comfort, support and a safe space to be heard – it is important for us to share wisdom, stories and general daily boosts of positivity to get us and our followers through these challenging times.

We are aiming to release a collection of blogs from various Contact staff and advocates over the next few weeks, so please keep an eye on here and our social media channels.Thank you for reading and keep on keeping on.