Notes: This salad is dramatic when made with whole inner romaine lettuce leaves (often sold as "romaine hearts"), but you can substitute 4 quarts bite-size pieces of romaine; in step 5, arrange the parmesan curls on top of the mixed salad. To make the curls, pull a vegetable peeler across the block of cheese.
Sunset JUNE 2001
1. To make parmesan rafts, cut baguette into diagonal slices 1/4 inch thick and 4 to 6 inches long. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with olive oil, using 3 to 4 tablespoons total. Arrange in a single layer in 2 shallow 12- by 17-inch baking pans.
2. Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle slices evenly with 1 cup shredded parmesan. Bake until cheese is melted and bread is golden, 10 to 12 minutes longer.
3. In a blender or food processor, whirl 9 tablespoons olive oil, 1/3 cup shredded parmesan, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth.
4. Place lettuce in a large bowl and parmesan rafts in another. Drizzle 2/3 of the dressing over lettuce and remaining 1/3 over rafts. Mix rafts to coat with dressing; with your hands or two spoons, gently lift and mix lettuce to coat.
5. Divide 1/3 of the lettuce equally among dinner plates, arranging all leaves on each plate in the same direction. Arrange 1/3 of the parmesan rafts equally on top, at right angles to leaves, and add 1/3 of the parmesan curls. Repeat to layer remaining lettuce, rafts, and curls. Season salads to taste with more salt.
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