Caesar salad dressing is an amazing condiment. It has umami savoriness from the anchovies and worchestershire, citrus zing and zest from the lemon juice, and the garlic and dijon tang are always welcome additions to any sandwich. If you don’t mind a little arm workout it can be prepared in just a few minutes with a good whisk and bowl. This week I made some and put it to use in a few sandwiches.
I made caesar salad sandwiches in three different ways. For the first two, I used King Arthur Baking’s Hearth Bread recipe. This is a super easy recipe that is written for folks who know how to make dough and for people new to the process as well. They have good instructions for how to knead the dough with and without a stand mixer. If you follow the recipe, you’ll end up with two shaped Italian or French style loaves (meaning the loaves aren’t baked in a pan). If you are new to making bread, I suggest you read the accompanying hearth bread blog post that King Arthur’s team wrote up.
This recipe leaves you with two loaves. If that’s too much bread for you to eat in four or five days, you should slice both loaves when it has cooled and package one loaf in a plastic freezer bag and store in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it. Bread freezes and thaws very well and the frozen loaf will be just as good as the fresh one. When ready to eat, pull a few slices out in advance to thaw or you can thaw it in a toaster or oven.
“Bread” number two
The other sandwich adjacent ceasar thing I made were chicken caesar salad wraps. I used the flour tortilla wrap recipe below. This recipe is also how you’d make flour tortilla’s for burritos or breakfast tacos. Keep it in your wheelhouse. This recipe is making 4 large burrito sized tortilla wraps but if you were just making taco sized tortillas it would make between 6 and 8.
This is the important stuff. The heart of a caesar sandwich is the dressing (some might say the heart is the romaine hearts, but they’d be wrong – but still kinda right). You could stop here and buy dressing at the store, but it’s fun and a bit of a fulfilling workout to make your own. The process is similar to making mayo, but with a little less arm action.
For the first caesar sandwich variation, I made a parmesan frico. This means I cooked up parmesan cheese until it melted together and became crisp. You do this in an oven at 350 F (175 C) degrees for 8 to 12 minutes. This is super fun to watch cook. It expands and bubbles and is constantly moving in the oven while it bakes. Take a minute out of your busy life and watch.
Make sure you use parchment or a silpat on your baking sheet so that nothing sticks. Once you’ve got a round disk of tan cheese, let it cool fully and it’ll add nice texture to your salad or in this case, salad sandwich.
On all of my sandwiches I used pan seared boneless and skinless chicken thigh. I simply salted and peppered the chicken and cooked in a medium high skillet for 5 minutes on the first side and then flipped and cooked for another 4 or 5 minutes. I often use an instant read thermometer to make sure meat is done. If you have a thermometer you need to get to 165 F or 74 C.
The second sandwich I made was very similar to the first one, but a little bit more of a classic “chicken lettuce tomato” style. I added salted tomato slices and this time I also tossed my chicken in the dressing. We had gotten Chinese delivery the night before and my order of chow mein came with lots of fried chow mein noodles so I stole some of those and slipped them in with my romaine lettuce before dressing for added crunchy texture.
The third “sandwich” I made this week was in wrap form. This is the version that you’ll see on a lot of deli/sandwich restaurant menus. You can eat a salad with your hands!
The wraps I made had chopped bacon and croutons made from a couple of leftover sandwich buns (cut bread into bite sized pieces, toss in olive/canola oil and spices and bake in a 400 F (200 C) degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes – start checking at 7 so you don’t burn them).
I think the biggest thing I am walking away with from caesar sandwich week is how great caesar dressing is in a sandwich application. I want you to try a sandwich with caesar dressing on it and let me know how yours turned out.