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Romaine with Manchego and Smoky Pepper Dressing

4 to 6 Servings

30 minutes

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This salad, loosely inspired by classic Caesar salad, features a bread-thickened dressing evocative of romesco, a nutty, garlicky, olive oil-rich red sauce from Catalonia region of Spain. Romaine hearts, chopped smoked almonds and toasted bread supply the dish with lots of texture, while Manchego cheese brings saltiness and umami. The dressing also is great on steak, shrimp or grilled or roasted veggies, so consider making a double batch and saving some for later use (it keeps well in the refrigerator for up to three days; bring it to room temperature before use). Serve the salad as a side or a light main. Or to make it more substantial, toss in some shredded cooked chicken or top each portion with a runny-yolk soft-cooked egg.

4 to 6



Don’t use a baguette with a fluffy, cottony crumb. Bread with a hearty, rustic crumb is best here, not only for lending body to the dressing but also for yielding croutons that add crunch to the salad.

30 minutes


  • ½

    cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2

    ounces rustic baguette, sliced ¼ inch thick (about 12 slices)


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Holly S.
March 22, 2024
I really wanted to like this but the dressing is too thick and the taste isn't anything special
Alex V.
March 5, 2024
I may have made this wrong..
I am not a hater. Everything I have ever made on this site has been perfect. Milk street has changed how I view and consume food. The dressing is super thick. I liked it...I ate it.... but it was crazy thick and my wife wouldn't eat. The picture of the salad doesnt have a red dressing. Photo does not match what my salad looked like.