06 July 2009

Garbage Bag Caesar Salad

My step-mother-in-law, Ann, has several signature dishes. One that Andrew and I both adore is her garbage bag Caesar salad. It's a simple recipe that always comes out yummy, and the um, unconventional method is a great conversation starter!

Ann's Garbage Bag Caesar Salad

1 large head romaine lettuce (or 2 hearts of romaine)
5-8 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
Caesar salad dressing (Ann likes Wishbone!)
1 clean garbage bag

Wash lettuce and lay leaves on paper towels, pat dry. Tear or cut leaves into bite-size pieces. Place lettuce and cheese in garbage bag, add dressing to taste. Knot garbage bag, shake salad to mix, and store in fridge about 30 minutes. When you're ready to serve, empty bag into serving bowl and toss with croutons.

Andrew and I were trying to save money, so we made ours in a Giant Eagle grocery store bag, but hey, it worked! We did double up the bag for the tossing of the salad, just in case. I definitely recommend using shredded cheese rather than grated - the larger pieces of cheese stand up to the dressing better.

A co-worker of ours once attempted the salad but couldn't figure out why it smelled and tasted sort of...off. Ann quizzed her on the brands of cheese and salad dressing, whether she washed the lettuce, etc. Somehow, Ann was able to figure out that our friend had made quite the mistake - she had tossed the salad in a scented garbage bag! No wonder her salad had an interesting aftertaste of lavender and chemicals!

Save for the rare error in garbage bag selection, this salad is easy to put together, a guaranteed hit, and just as fitting for weeknight meals as it is for fancier weekend dinners.

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