I still remember the first time I had a Ceasar salad made at the table at a restaurant. I was in high school, and while I don’t remember where I was, I do remember sitting mesmerized as the dressing ingredients came together in a giant wood bowl. And who knew there were anchovies in caesar dressing? Mind. Blown.
Caesar salad has always been a favorite of mine. And I’ve been wanting to make it from scratch for awhile now. For such a seemingly simple food, there are a lot of components: salad, dressing, croutons. But it all comes together pretty quickly, and topped with some grilled chicken, it’s an instant weeknight meal.
2 heads of romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces
Caesar dressing (below)
Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese (use a vegetable peeler)
Place the romaine in a large salad bowl. Add a small portion of the dressing initially and toss well to coat. Continue to add additional dressing little by little until the lettuce is coated to your liking. (It is very easy to overdo the dressing, so start slowly and add in small spoonfuls. You can always add more but you can’t take it away!) Toss with croutons and serve with shaved Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
1 large clove garlic
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 large egg yolks
5 tablespoon canola oil
5 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
Grate the garlic clove with a microplane or zester to a fine paste in a small bowl. Mix in the lemon juice and let stand 10 minutes. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, egg yolks, and anchovy paste and whisk to blend. Whisk in the canola and olive oils until the dressing is emulsified. Add the grated Parmesan, season with freshly ground black pepper, and adjust seasonings to taste.
4 cups ½-inch bread cubes
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried herbs (Italian blend, parsley, etc.)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. Place the bread cubes in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the melted butter and olive oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with the garlic powder, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Toss once more until everything is evenly combined. Spread the croutons in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring once every 10 minutes, until the croutons are light golden and crisp and no chewiness remains. They will bake from anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes total but the time may vary depending on the size of cubes and type of bread. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.