Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentis from Everyday Italian Show and the Episode: Italian Salads. We used this recipe for a Dr's meeting here and it was liked by all! I had printed copies of the recipe ready for those who wanted them. We used walnuts instead of the pignoli's (personal preference). There is a 2 hour cooling time or if wanted you can prepare the croutons and salad dressing the day before. Then it assembles easily and quickly! We used the polenta croutons in a salad of mixed greens and they were awesome! The Cubans make their polenta or harina de maiz with garlic and the chef snuck some in when preparing the croutons, turned out great!
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Units: US | Metric
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or 2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
- 1MAKE THE POLENTA: (Make First).
- 2Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan.
- 3Add salt.
- 4Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
- 5Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- 6Turn off the heat.
- 7Add the butter, and stir until melted.
- 8Lightly oil a half sheet pan.
- 9Transfer the hot polenta to the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly to 3/4-inch thick.
- 10Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 2 hours.
- 11MAKE THE DRESSING:.
- 12Finely chop the garlic and anchovies in a food processor.
- 13Blend in the lemon juice and mustard.
- 14With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil.
- 15Season the dressing, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- 16TO MAKE CROUTONS:
- 17Cut the polenta into 3/4-inch cubes.
- 18Pat the polenta cubes dry with paper towels.
- 19Add enough vegetable oil to a heavy large frying pan to come 1-inch up the sides of the pan.
- 20Heat the oil over high heat.
- 21Working in batches of 10, carefully add the polenta cubes to the oil 1 at a time and fry until golden brown, stirring to keep the cubes separate, about 2 minutes.
- 22Using a slotted spoon, transfer the polenta croutons to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
- 23(The dressing and polenta croutons can be prepared 1 day ahead up to this point.
- 24Cover the dressing and polenta croutons separately and refrigerate.
- 25Rewarm the polenta croutons on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees F oven before serving.)
- 26MAKE THE SALAD:.
- 27Prepare the barbecue for high heat or grill pan.
- 28Grill the lettuce until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side.
- 29Cut the lettuce into bite-size pieces.
- 30On a serving platter, mound the grilled chopped lettuce.
- 31Decoratively scatter the sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts.
- 32Drizzle with enough dressing to evenly coat.
- 33Sprinkle Parmesan and scatter the warm polenta croutons over and serve immediately.
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Nutritional Facts for Italian Caesar Salad With Polenta Croutons
Serving Size: 1 (561 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 917.2
- Calories from Fat 500
- Total Fat 55.6 g
- Saturated Fat 11.2 g
- Cholesterol 28.0 mg
- Sodium 1044.5 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 93.9 g
- Dietary Fiber 18.1 g
- Sugars 7.3 g
- Protein 21.8 g