This is my take on a classic Caesar salad, showcasing spears of fresh asparagus, wedges of cos and baked pancetta crisps. No hard-boiled eggs in sight, but add them if you like! Throw this together at the last minute so the garlic croutons stay crunchy. If asparagus isn’t in season, you can substitute it with green beans or broccolini.
Makes: 6 serves
Takes: 20 minutes
Day-old baguette, ripped into bite-sized chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp olive oil
100g pancetta, sliced
1 bunch asparagus
½ cup aïoli*
1 cup natural yoghurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 heads cos lettuce, cut into wedges lengthways
75g Parmesan cheese, shaved
2 Tbsp capers
Salt & pepper
*click here to see our homemade aïoli recipe
Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C. In a medium-sized bowl, toss bread, garlic and 2 tablespoons oil. Spread the bread mixture out on an oven tray and bake for 10–15 minutes, until golden and toasted. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, place rings of pancetta on another oven tray and bake for 8–10 minutes, until crispy. Allow to cool.
Trim the ends of asparagus spears and slice them in half lengthways. In a small frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and lightly fry asparagus for 1–2 minutes, until just starting to colour but still retaining some crunch.
In a small bowl, mix aïoli, yoghurt and lemon juice until you have a thick but runny dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large serving dish, layer cos lettuce, asparagus, Parmesan, capers, croutons and pancetta crisps. Drizzle with the yoghurt dressing and season with extra salt and pepper. Serve immediately.