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Spanish Caesar Salad with Marcona Almonds and White Anchovies

A ubiquitous dish that’s fun to riff on, the Caesar salad is always a crowd-pleaser. This version from Chef Bobby Flay features some fantastic Spanish ingredients, including sweet and delicate Marcona almonds, nutty Manchego cheese and white anchovies. The brined meaty anchovies, or boquerones, are milder and fresher than any salt-packed variety. If you think you don’t like anchovies, give these sweet fillets a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. smoked mild paprika, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas, drained, rinsed well and drained
      again
  • 1/2 cup Marcona almonds
  • 10 brined white anchovy fillets, patted dry
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 oz. Manchego cheese, shaved

Directions:

In a blender, combine the orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, the 1 tsp. paprika, the hot sauce and garlic and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until the dressing is smooth.

Remove 6 of the romaine leaves and arrange on a platter. Chop the remaining leaves into bite-size pieces and put in a bowl with the chickpeas. Add half of the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the dressed salad over the whole leaves and scatter the almonds, anchovies and parsley over the top. Drizzle with more of the dressing before topping with the Manchego and a sprinkling of paprika. Serves 4.

Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, by Bobby Flay (Clarkson Potter, 2013).