At the end of a certain magazine about People, which I only read on planes and road trips, there are recipes provided typically by chefs, sometimes by celebrities. I seldom take notice, except when something unique really pops out, like David Chang’s bacon fried rice. And that was a HIT!
This time, it was a cacio e Pepe salad, which was intriguing, since it’s well known as a pasta dish.
The contributor is Stefano Secchi, who I’ve never heard of until now, but he chefs at the New York City restaurant Rezdôra, in the Flatiron district. Even though this is called a salad, he serves it as an appetizer.
I was only capable of taking these terrible photos when I initially saw the recipe, because I was in the back seat of a car headed to Nashville, but they were enough to piece together the recipe!
All I needed was Little Gem lettuce, and a girlfriend came through for me!
Cacio e Pepe Salad
1/4 cup canola oil
1 ounce Pecorino cheese, grated
1 ounce Parmesan, grated, plus 1/2 ounce shaved
1/2 cup water ( I used 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons mustard
4 heads Little Gem lettuce
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Process the oil with the grated cheeses, water, lemon juice and mustard, just until emulsified, about 20 seconds.
Spread about 3/4 cup of the dressing on the cut sides of lettuce halves on a plate.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on the pepper.
Add the shaved Parmesan.
So much like a Caesar salad, if truth be told, but oh so good.
Full disclosure: I subscribe to People magazine. Yes, I do.