Spicy Red Pepper Caesar with Homemade Garlic Croutons

Thursday, 22 Jan 2009


This recipe is a new take on the Grilled Romaine with Spicy Caesar Dressing I made a while back.  I loved how the dressing turned out and wanted to do a little something different with it using a roasted red pepper instead of chipotles in adobo.  Here’s the original recipe from the Food Network:  Grilled Romaine with Spicy Caesar Dressing.  The red pepper version I made tonight turned out to be much sweeter and mellower than the chipotle version, even after I added tons of hot sauce.  It was good, and if you like less-spicy food, this might be the version for you.  In the end, I think I liked the kick of the chipotle version a little more.  Tonight we had this salad with pan-seared beef tenderloin and Crash Hot Potatoes.


You have to start a little early on this recipe to get your roasted garlic ready.  The recipe calls for it, but doesn’t tell you how to do it.  I just lopped off the top 1/3 of the garlic head, put it on a piece of foil, drizzled it thoroughly with olive oil, and wrapped it up.  30 minutes in a 400 degree oven and voila.  Save the 1/3 you cut off for rubbing on the homemade croutons (see directions below).


So the changes I made for my red pepper “mashup” of the Food Network’s Spicy Caesar recipe are:

1.  Substituted 1/2 of a large roasted red pepper from a jar for the chipotle in adobo.

2.  Used the juice of one lime and 3 teaspoons of cider vinegar instead of the red wine vinegar.

3.  Left out the anchovies.

4.  Added about 10 dashes of hot sauce and 3 dashes of cayenne instead of just 2 dashes of hot sauce.  This still failed to make it hot!

5.  As you can see, I used regular romaine and didn’t grill it. It was great the time we did grill it, though.

The dressing turns out to be very colorful made with red peppers– it’s close to the orange color of bottled french dressing!  Very festive.

For the homemade croutons, I cut some parmesan-asiago flat bread into bite-sized squares, brushed them with olive oil on a baking sheet and broiled them on high until crisp.  I them rubber them with the garlic ends left from preparing my roasted garlic, and then salted the croutons.

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