This is not a salad for the fainthearted, nor one for meticulous calorie-counters. It is an assault on the tastebuds and contains a lot of strong flavours!
I first came across the recipe (pdf) in the Taste of Nova Scotia’s 2012 guide. The guide features a directory of restaurants and foodie shops through NS and is sprinkled with local recipes (see for example, the lobster risotto I made from last year’s edition).
This particular salad comes from the Brooklyn Warehouse, a hip restaurant in north end Halifax. I’ve only been there once, and didn’t order the salad, but have happily tried to recreate it. It’s essentially a perked-up Caesar-type salad featuring blue cheese and bacon. I followed the recipe fairly closely (adapting it for 2 people) but didn’t use the capers, only used one type of blue cheese, and increased the lemon juice a bit.
In my opinion the key to this salad for the home cook is homemade croutons. I started making my own after living in Germany where you can’t buy them, and I have not looked back. I will never buy croutons again! There is no way to replicate the crunchy outside, soft inside, of a fresh, porous crouton that soaks up extra dressing.
I have made this several times since discovering the recipe and although it’s heavy on the garlic and blue cheese, “dragon’s breath” indeed, it is a favourite in our household.