Friends, bloggers, foodies, lend me your ears! No, it’s not the ides of March, but it is nearing springtime, and my taste buds and tummy are crying out for lighter foods. Today’s recipe is, as Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar said, “a dish fit for the gods”. The gods of good eats, that is.
Do you care for that garlicky shrimp wonder-of-wonders called Scampi? What are your thoughts on Caesar Salads? I like both, and having both on hand led to today’s alliteration creation called Scampi Caesar Salad Sandwich.Years ago, when I worked in downtown Portland, my friends and I would meet for lunch at this little pub type of place and order Shrimp Caesar Salads. The salads were served in a hollowed out bread bowl that had been toasted. While there was WAY too much bread for one person to consume, I really liked the chewy texture the bread provided instead of crunchy croutons. To be honest, I’m not a huge crouton fan. Too often, they are just jaw bone cracking hard and over seasoned. I do like homemade ones, especially if they’ve soaked up a vinaigrette ... which renders them chewy not crunchy. Anyway ... fast forward to today, at lunch I wanted to recreate that chewy goodness of the Caesar Salad bowl without using an entire loaf of bread. Solution? Lightly toasted ciabatta sandwiches.This sandwich is outstanding. Really. It’s now one of my favorites. You’ve got the magnificent crunch of the Romaine lettuce, the tang of the Caesar dressing, the garlic greatness of the shrimp, the nutty toastiness of the parmesan, and the glorious chewiness of the bread. It’s filling, but not heavy. I loved it. Perhaps you will, too!
Shrimp Scampi (about 6 per sandwich) – Warm. I used left over. Any recipe will do. If you need one, let me know. Mine is simple to make, and tastes terrific.
Mini loaves ciabatta bread or 2 slices Italian or French bread per person.
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into large pieces
Caesar salad dressing (I purchase mine.)
Heat your oven to 400. Split open the ciabatta, and very lightly butter the inside. Spoon about ½ to 1 teaspoon of parmesan on each piece. Place on an oven sheet, and lightly toast for about 5 minutes. That’s all.Don’t over toast it. We don’t want crunchy bread ... it’ll be too hard to eat!
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the salad dressing. Use a light hand when spooning on the dressing; a little goes a long way. Next, layer a good amount of salad onto the toasted ciabatta and place about six pieces of shrimp on top. Serve open face, or top with other piece of bread, slice on an angle, and serve.Hello, beautiful! Just look at how good this is! These would be super-dee-duper with grilled chicken or smoked salmon instead of shrimp. Perhaps if Caesar had fed his countrymen these sandwiches, “Et tu, Brute”, could have been him asking his friend if he wanted seconds!And you, would you care for one of these lovelies?