Romaine parcels with romaine dipping sauce
Here is a fun way to serve a caesar style salad that you can eat with your hands. The inner leaves of romaine are wrapped together with a semi circle of rice paper creating a parcel that you can grab and dip into the dressing. Kind of fun and different. The recipe is adapted from master chef Michel Richard’s Happy in the Kitchen cookbook, a large format book full of beautiful recipes and delicious foods with simple to follow precise instructions. I simplified the dressing to make it work for me in my kitchen.
2 heads of romaine hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sherry or rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded dark green part of the romain leaves (no ribs)
1/4 cup minced chives
1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper
Balsamic crema (I used fig balsamic)
To make the dip:
place all of the ingredients in a food processor and mix well. Thin it with water to a thick cream-like consistency and refrigerate until needed. Richard says to blend the dressing in a blender. Because of the small amount of dressing I find that it works only with a small food processor. You can omit the romain leaves if you can’t process it. It doesn’t affect the flavour much but will be lighter in colour.
To make the romain parcels:
Divide the romaine hearts into 6 bundles of 2-3 leaves each and set aside.
Soften the rice paper in hot water and spread on the work surface. Cut the rice paper in half.
Set the half round rice paper with the straight edge away from you.
Lay the bottom part of the romain bundles on the rice paper and fold the bottom of the paper up over the ribs. Proceed to roll the paper around the base of the lettuce so they hold them like salad rolls with the top of the lettuce extending over the top. Keep between two moist sheets of paper towels as you prepare them.
Drizzle balsamic crema over the plate, set the romain parcels over in a way that give them height, shave parmesan over and scatter a few candied nuts around the plate.
Fill a small bowl with the dressing and serve alongside for dipping.