Notes from the Test Kitchen:
This is a really good salad and a great way to use your leftover ham. I used balsamic vinegar in this recipe, but cannot wait to try it with red wine vinegar. The browned pine nuts and the croutons gave this salad a nice crunch. A great twist on Caesar salad!
olive oil, extra virgin or butter divided. (if reducing fat, omit 2 of the tablespoons of fat and spray cooking pan generously with cooking spray)
red onion (preferably long and thinly sliced segments)
diced ham (smoked chicken or turkey can also be used)
whole grain bread cut into crouton-sized chunks ( thick slices from an artisan loaf, or use pre-packaged croutons if desired)
artichoke hearts, cubed
romaine lettuce leaves, coarsely chopped
red wine or balsamic vinegar
parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 to 4
shredded cheese(s) ( you choose, all one or a mixture of asiago, cheddar, mozarella, provolone, romano, or swiss)
How to Make Wilted Caesar Salad With Red Onion and Ham
1(NOTE: If reducing the fat spray pan generously with PAM Olive Oil Spray)
In a medium saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter or heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add minced garlic, onion, and stir to coat. When onion begins to soften, add cubed ham and pine nuts and stir to coat. While mixture cooks…cube the whole grain bread and add 2 tablespoons of oil or butter to the mixture…when butter melts, stir in bread cubes and continue to cook until the bread and nuts begin to toast and the ham starts to brown.
2While this cooks…chop the lettuce and arrange on a serving platter. Chop the artichoke and distribute over lettuce.
When mixture in the pan has sufficiently browned, remove from heat and immediately pour hot ingredients over the cold lettuce in the platter. Return the pan to the burner and add the 2 tablespoons vinegar, stirring to de-glaze the pan for about a minute (trying to get the flavor off the bottom of pan into the vinegar.) Pour the hot vinegar over the ingredients on the platter and toss. Sprinkle with parmesan and shredded cheese… and enjoy!