Friday nights at our house have, and most likely always will be, pizza nights. It started with buying one of those Little Caesar's $5 pizzas, then it migrated to picking up a frozen pizza at the supermarket with groceries, then to a fresh take-home-and-bake pizza at the supermarket, and now we're on the "Papa Murphy's $5 Fave" stage. We don't usually use Friday nights as our date-nights, unless we have something extra special planned (we sneak those in during the week, or on Saturday), so Friday is reserved for just us. Just the three (and an half) of us. It's kind of fun to just relax together as a family, spread out the giant blanket in front of a movie, and have a little picnic of that easy pop-in-the-oven pizza.
I usually have a side of fruit or something like that with it, so we're not just eating pizza-pizza-pizza. But I noticed that we polish off that medium pizza pretty fast... for so few of us. Last December I started making a salad to go along with our pizza, and had no idea just how much of a couple of crazy salad-lovers we'd turn out to be. We've tried a few different versions of the traditional green salad, but it wasn't until I threw together a Caesar salad that he mentioned just how much he LOVED the salad.
I swear I've tried serving him Caesar before, but this time, it stuck, and he wanted to *gasp!* keep a bottle of dressing in the fridge. (We've never been hard-core salad eaters, and if we are, we usually eat them bone dry). Well, that's when I knew I needed to try a couple variations of his favorite Caesar. Let me tell you, adding pasta is amazing. It adds a lovely heartiness to the dish, but keeps the simple, light, sophistication of the dish. I can't wait to serve this alongside some BBQ grilled chicken this summer, or take it to a family potluck dinner! Next time, I'm thinking a handful of crispy bacon needs to come to the salad party here, too.
I mean, it was just so simple, I almost didn't share it here on the blog. But I figured - hey! We all need easy recipes to make our lives a little less chaotic. Some days I have time for the intricate, layer by layer, salads. But recently (as you may have noticed with my recipes) the easier the better! If you want to go hard core and make your own Caesar dressing, that works, too. Hope you're all having a beautiful week! I feel like Spring is right around the corner (says the super-hopeful-Utah-native-at-the-end-of-January), and I can't wait to spend more time outside without freezing our little buns off. See you on Friday, lovelies. And just as promised, I'll have something sweet for your table. :)
Pasta Caesar Salad
makes 4 servings
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 C vegetable rotini pasta, cooked & cooled
1 large handful of tomatoes, chopped
1 C croutons
1/2 C parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 C Caesar salad dressing (homemade or storebought)
1. In a large bowl, layer in the romaine heart, cooked and cooled rotini, tomatoes, croutons, and a heaping amount of parmesan cheese. Drizzle on the Caesar dressing, and serve alongside grilled chicken & fresh fruit, or bring to a potluck or family gathering for lunch/dinner!
recipe source: Baking with Blondie