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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Casa D'Angelo

When I lived in Fort Wayne, I could have easily eaten at Casa d'Angelo on a daily basis.  Best darned Italian food I'd ever had.  Jimmy d'Angelo knew me by name in those days.  Then, I moved back home to Indianapolis and had to crave their food long distance.  My primary craving - their salad.  It was unlike anything I'd ever had.  A creamy Italian dressing.  Lettuce, red bell peppers, green onions, shredded mozzarella.  YUM!  The problem was that I was never able to recreate that dressing.  Then, many years ago, my sister-in-law Pam gave me a cookbook for Christmas.  I picked it up and leafed through it.  There was a recipe purporting to be Casa d's salad.  But, was it really?  The next day I was off to the grocery to buy the red bell peppers, green onions and shredded mozzarella.  The salad got put together and viola! the exact same salad.  How awesome was that?   Since then, it's become the "family" salad.  It's requested for most family get-togethers.  My stepsons want it when they're here visiting.  And, best of all, picky niece Samantha actually made it for a party she and her beau, CJ, had.  She had someone else put the anchovies in the blender but by golly, she made it.  Hopefully, it'll become a favorite of yours too!!

Casa d'Angelo Salad

1 tin anchovies, plus the oil
1 c red wine vinegar
3/4 t oregano
1 1/2 t ground black pepper
1 T salt (I usually leave this out...)
1 1/4 oz sugar (I know, tough to measure, I usually use about 1 T)
1 1/2 t garlic salt or 1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 c cornstarch
2 c light olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
3/4 grated Romano
1 c shredded Mozzarella

Dump the anchovies and their oil into a blender.  Add the red wine vinegar, oregano, pepper, sugar, garlic and cornstarch.  Process until it's liquefied.  Keep the blender running.  Take out the plug and slowly pour in the olive oil.  It'll thicken up about the time you run out of oil.

Shred the lettuce and put it in a large bowl. 

Sprinkle the peppers, green onions and cheeses over the top. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Pour enough dressing over to lightly coat the lettuce leaves.  Reserve the rest of the dressing for another salad.

Adapted from Just Peachey, Cooking up a Cure


Chef Dennis Littley said...

looks like a great recreation of a wonderful salad!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Putting the ingredients on my shopping list! Sounds incredible!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I'm adding all these ingredients to my shopping list...sounds wonderful, Kate!

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I blogged about this yummy salad...and linked back to this post!

Veronica Culver said...

Hi Kate! Looks fantastic! A good salad is a welcome departure from all the holiday food!

anastasia said...

Cornstarch! I dont know if I could! I have never heard of using raw cornstarch. Sounds like my caesar dressing except cornstarch for egg yolks. I will try out this salad but I dunno if I can do the cornstarch. You do seem to know what your doing!

Former Bruin said...

Glad you and your family love it.
I was back in town a while back and had one, you forgot the Iceberg Lettuce. it should be 50/50 with the Romaine. otherwise that is perfect. The Iceberg gives more texture to the salad if it sits for any period of time.

Anonymous said...

This is the Best!

Anonymous said...

I use to eat at that restaurant whenever I was back in Fort Wayne just because of their salad. It is the best and this recipe is perfect. The 1-1/2 oz of sugar is actually alittle more than 3 tablespoons. And for those in fear the cornstarch only thickens and doesn't taste raw. This is the best salad ever.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the Pancetta (Bacon). I have eaten the Casaburo Salad at 4 of the D'Angelo restaurants in Ft Wayne and they always had bacon in the salad.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I used to live in Ft. Wayne and just LOVED this salad!! I can't wait to try this! Thanks so much I hope this tastes as good as I remember!

Anonymous said...

The volume of sugar for 1 1/4 oz is about 2Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons. I weighed it! There is still some discussion of whether to use white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar. Care to weigh in?
I searched for this recipe to woo my sweetheart who just LOVES the Casaburo house salad. Really hope to impress her!

Kate said...

I love that you weighed the sugar! I've always eyeballed that measurement. Or, used the wooden scooper that was on the outside of the canister. Red wine vinegar is the one for me. Another person, years ago, said she'd eaten this salad many times at Casa D's and it always had bacon in it. I must beg to differ as I've probably eaten it 100 times and it's never had bacon! What I do leave off, though, is the croutons. Theirs are fabulous. Not hard and yucky but ones that are just crispy enough and kind of explode in your mouth when you bite into one. We made this salad last weekend and I've got a bit of dressing left for a lunch salad this week. It's one of two salads that's pretty much required at a family dinner!