After moving to the Pacific Northwest from Wisconsin, it is no surprise that hot smoked salmon quickly become a new favorite for me. It's smoky, from-the-sea flavor pairs well with the anchovy based dressing in this smoked salmon caesar salad.
In the pacific northwest, salmon is typically brined in brown sugar and slowly infused with fragrant alderwood smoke. This lends to it's chewy, almost candy-like texture that is so irresistible you will be sniffing the sweet alderwood scent on your fingers for hours after eating. If you are like me and have no boundaries with anchovies, toss a few more in the dressing and pretend you are eating a meal right from the water.
This salad works well by itself as a dinner for two, but shuck a few fresh oysters and add a bowl of clam chowder, and this smoked salmon caesar salad serves a party.
Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2-3 anchovy filets, (minced)
- ½ cup grapeseed oil, (or any neutral oil)
- 2 tbsps olive oil, (optional)
- ¾ cup parmesan, (grated)
- 1 teaspoon lemon Juice
- 1-3 teaspoon white wine vinegar, (or distilled vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or to taste)
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, (torn into bite size pieces)
- ½ lb hot smoked salmon (lox will work too if traditional hot smoked salmon isnâ€™t available)
- Fresh or stale bread, (for croutons)
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper (for serving)
- sliced parmesan (for serving)
- Preheat broiler. Add egg yolk, dijon, and anchovies to a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Then, while continuously whisking, slowly drizzle the grapeseed oil into the egg mixture until a stiff but creamy mayo forms. This whole process should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the grated parmesan, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper and whisk until well combined. The dressing should be creamy and thick but still slide off the whisk when lifted, if it is too thick add a splash of water.
- After you make your dressing, roughly chop the bread into bite size pieces, toss with some olive oil and salt, and place into the preheated broiler on a sheet pan. Once the bread starts to brown, about 1-2 minutes, flip the pieces over and roast for another 1-2 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Add the chopped lettuce and croutons to the bowl of dressing and toss well. Plate the salad onto individual plates and then crumble the smoked salmon into any remaining dressing and toss and place on top of the salads. Serve with some more cracked pepper and thinly sliced Parmesan.