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Pacific Rim Caesar Salad

We are so spoiled here on the West Coast: the produce is always fresh and the seafood is always plentiful! We are also lucky enough to live in a uniquely diverse multi-cultural area and thus are exposed to flavours and food combinations from across the globe. This Asian-inspired caesar salad is a fantastic twist on the original Italian classic and the perfect compliment to easy sautéed prawns – at their peak right now in our waters. Great for an easy mid-week dinner or lunch, it also makes a nice light starter course to an early summer main.

  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup (62 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped peeled ginger
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tsp. (10 mL) chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 – 4 prawns per person (optional)

 Heat a heavy, small skillet over medium low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir until toasted and golden, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Combine lime juice and next 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until well blended. With processor running, add the vegetable oil in a slow steady stream; process until slightly thickened. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add dressing and 3/4 cup Parmesan; toss to combine. Divide salad among 6 plates; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and toasted sesame seeds. If serving with prawns**, place 3-4 on top of each serving. Enjoy!

**For prawns: heat a sauté pan to medium high and add a small splash of olive oil. Sauté peeled prawns for 2-3 minutes flipping mid-way. Cook until just pink through – do not overcook.



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