Caesar bites

Caesar bites

Caesar bites

I’ve been dreaming up this hors d’oeuvres for years. I love to use quail eggs and figured they’d be a great way to make a very pretty bite sized Caesar salad. I have some favourite Italian bread rolls I use to make burgers. They are quite chewy, with a very open dough. I figured I could slice and toast them to make lovely edible serving ‘spoons’ for these hors d’oeuvres. We have some lovely Irishmen in Canberra who are making a wonderful selection of smoked and cured meats over at Pialligo Farm. They make a mean bacon. I used their dry cured streaky bacon in this recipe. I only ever use Cardini’s Caesar dressing. I think it’s sensational, and it’s the original after all.

Makes 12

2 Italian ‘panini’ roll
olive oil
12 leaves cos lettuce
2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 rashers streaky bacon
2 anchovies
3 quails eggs

Preheat the oven to 180oC. Cut the panini rolls into five millimetres slices. You want at least twelve good slices, it can be good to have extras. Arrange on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Allow them to cool completely.

Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the baking tray. Cover with another piece of baking paper and a second baking tray so they are squashed flat. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven, drain on paper towel and allow to cool.

Fill a small saucepan with 5 centimetres of water and bring to the boil. Add the quail eggs and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and fill with cold water. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the shells.

Swash and dry the lettuce leaves, roll them up and thinly slice them. Crumble the bacon into a mixing bowl with the lettuce, cheese and dressing. Mix thoroughly.

You can store each of these components separately until you are ready to serve the hors d’oeuvres.

To assemble, take a small quantity of the dressed salad and arrange it on one end of the toasted bread. Tear the anchovies into a total of twelve pieces and arrange atop the salads. Cut the eggs into quarters and arrange atop the salads. Serve immediately.

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