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Caesar Salad Bites

Servings: 6 to 12

These fun hand-held romaine leaves hold all the flavor of a Caesar salad without needing a fork, so they’re a perfect party food or starter. The jammy quail eggs temper the tartness of white Spanish anchovies; you can substitute regular canned anchovies if you like. Instead of croutons, crispy baked Parmesan cheese crisps add crunch.


  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 quail eggs
  • 2/3 cup truffle aioli or mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 small garlic clove mashed into a paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 medium whole romaine lettuce leaves
  • 12 white Spanish anchovy fillets


Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread level tablespoons of the cheese evenly into 2-1/2-inch rounds on the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake until crisp and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Fill a medium bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Gently lower the quail eggs into the water in batches with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and set a timer for 3 minutes.

Transfer the eggs to the ice water with the slotted spoon. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water. Gently roll the eggs on a cutting board to crack their shells. Peel the eggs, dipping them into the ice water to rinse away any small bits of shell. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the aioli, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the leaves on a serving platter and season lightly with salt. Spread about 1 Tbs. of the aioli mixture on each romaine leaf, top with an anchovy, and 2 egg halves. Crumble the Parmesan cheese crisps over the filled leaves. Serve immediately.


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