Monday, 16 January 2012

Quorn Ceasar Salad


I should probably start by saying that I am, in general, not really a fan of salad per se. I have, therefore, pretty much left the salad section to do last and therefore unfortunately I am now faced with the 'salad days' of this experiment....

So, this weekend I attempted the Ceasar Salad - a salad which I am fairly familiar with as I have had it previously in restaurants. My knowledge of it was only that it is a creamy cheese flavoured dressing and that it contains raw egg. I am not overly fond of it but needs must so off we set...

For a start I tweaked the cheese content because 100g of grated parmesan is just EXCEPTIONALLY high. I actually used 75g of cheese of which 25g was my precious (bought back from Lucca) parmesan and 50g was finely grated cheddar, I figured the stronger flavour of the cheddar would make up for the smaller quantity of cheese and I was right, the cheese taste was definitely the strongest.

The dressing is made by blitzing the cheese, egg yolk, clove of garlic, white wine vinegar and lemon juice and then adding the olive oil with the blender still switched on until smooth. The recipe suggests 200ml of olive oil but again I ignored this measurement and just used enough until it was the consistency I wanted (about 125ml).

You end up with a stunningly pretty buttercream yellow dressing which smells quite strongly of the cheese and lemon. To my mind it did indeed smell like a ceasar salad as I remember it.

Effectively you then just toss the fried off quorn pieces with some lettuce leaves and the dressing and top with ciabatta croutons. Simple.

This is the salad as served - you can see I burnt my croutons by trying to do too many things at once....

So, in terms of propoints, this is the points for the version I made with less cheese and oil. Based on using a quarter of the dressing per portion this is a calorie laden nightmare of 14 PROPOINTS!!!! FOR A SALAD!!!!

Yes, I had to recalculate twice just to check. It is because it is still a huge amount of oil and cheese per portion, the points break down as follows: cheese (2), oil (7), quorn pieces (2), croutons (2) egg yolk (1).

To my mind it did taste quite nice (for a salad) but at these points values there is no way in hell I will recreate it! If I am going to spend that many points on a meal it has to be something that feels like it is worth it and for me this just does not do it. If you are a fan of ceasar salad then my guess is that you will like this because it is a great quorn version of the standard chicken dish but if you are trying to eat healthy then it is probably one to avoid!

For me this is a 5/10 - I can see what the recipe is trying to do but for me it is just not that enjoyable for the amount of points in it.

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