Warm Mixed Greens Salad with Garlic Croutons
For the Vinaigrette
- 1 head of garlic
- 4 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
For the Salad
- 2 large red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings, separated
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes day-old sourdough bread
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 8 cups (packed) mixed greens (about 10 ounces)
- 1 cup (packed) grated smoked mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
Note: I've had problems locating smoked mozzarella...so I just grate mozzarella and add drops to taste of Liquid Smoke.
To Make the Vinaigrette:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place garlic in small baking dish.
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Cover dish tightly with foil; bake until garlic is tender, about 50 minutes. Cool.
- Squeeze roasted garlic from skins into medium bowl. Mash with fork.
- Add 3/4 cup oil, shallots, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and thyme.
- Whisk to blend well. Season with salt and pepper.
To Make the Onions:
- Increase oven temperature to 375°F.
- Oil large rimmed baking sheet.
- Arrange onion rings on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat.
- Roast until tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
- Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar; toss to coat. Add onions to vinaigrette in bowl.
- Maintain oven temperature.
- To Assemble the salad:
- Melt butter in heavy medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
- Add chopped garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
- Add bread cubes and rosemary and toss to combine.
- Transfer to oven and bake until croutons are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Place greens in large bowl. Add cheese and toss to combine.
- Transfer vinaigrette to medium saucepan.
- Stir over medium-low heat until hot.
- Pour hot dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Top with croutons and serve.