I’m not sure how you feel about caesar salad, but a good caesar salad is in my top 3 all-time favorite foods. There is something about the cold crunch of the lettuce, the tang of a homemade dressing, and the flavor of fresh garlic croutons that creates the perfect flavor/texture combination. Now I will admit to being a caesar snob. If the croutons and dressing aren’t homemade, I’m not having it. Nope!
Now some of my salad quirks: Said dressing also needs to have anchovies. I’m OK with paste vs. whole, but they need to be in there. There also needs to be an abundance of parmesan cheese to top the salad. The shavings- not just the grated kind. It really adds something special- I promise! If you do a salad and pasta combo (which is always a crowd favorite), you can freshly grate that cheese over the pasta too, and your guests will love you, and never want to leave your kitchen.
Over the years, I’ve perfected my favorite caesar recipe to make at home. When I make this salad, people ask for the recipe. Because it is the BEST! (Seriously. It is). I hope you love it as much as I do, and if you tweak it and make it better. Let me know! (Because I always want to be eating the best caesar salad!!)
Caesar Salad Recipe:
(About 4 servings)
2 heads Romaine lettuce
Crusty Bread (baguette or tuscan country)
-3/4 C Mayo
-2 tbsp Grated Parmesan
-1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
-1 tsp Grey Poupon
-6 small anchovies (or 1 tbsp anchovy paste)
-5 cloves of garlic- minced (only use half in dressing and save other half for croutons)
-Fresh Lemon Juice
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil or Butter (for frying croutons)
*Take a metal bowl and place in freezer. (I use this later to toss salad, so that it keeps the lettuce cold for serving).
*Chop and rinse romaine lettuce and set aside to dry
*Mince garlic and set aside half for dressing.
*Roughly chop crusty bread. (I’m purposely not giving an amount, because this depends on how crouton heavy you like your salad. I like mine crouton heavy, and I can add at least 3/4 of a baguette).
*Add olive oil or butter to hot frying pan.
*Add half the garlic to pan until fragrant.
*Toss in crusty bread chunks, add salt & pepper and toss until crispy. Set aside until ready to combine salad. There will be crunchy crumbs and crispy garlic at the bottom of the pan. I love them and add them to the top of the salad. You can always use a slotted spoon to remove croutons if you want to leave out.
*Combine dressing ingredients. (Marked with – sign above). The lemon juice I add at the end as I’m stirring. I use about half a lemon, but really eyeball it to create the consistency I want. It should be a thick and creamy, but liquidy enough to easily coat a salad.
(A word about how to combine the dressing. I used to have a Magic Bullet which was perfect for making marinades and dressings. It broke. I miss it. Until I decide to purchase another, (I’m still angry it broke.), I use a mortar and pestle. The key with that is to crush the garlic and anchovies first. You can also use a regular blender, but I find it annoying to dirty my giant blender for a small batch of dressing.)
Toss lettuce, croutons and dressing in chilled metal bowl.
Top with shaved parmesan, and serve immediately!
I typically serve mine alone, but this time decided to add some grilled chicken since I was eating it for dinner.
The chicken was boneless/skinless breast done on the grill and seasoned with pepper and Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning, cooked for about 5-6 minutes per side. You can add any good protein to the salad- grilled shrimp, steak, scallops, fried tofu. Go crazy! Or eat it alone, because it deserves to be savored and is perfectly delightful as is.
Let me know what you think below!