I love salad. I’m obsessed with trying new salads but I always come back to my favorites no matter what. I have been making my own dressing and croutons for years and feel like my caesar salad recipe is finally share worthy. It is flavor packed with lots of lemon, garlic and parmesan cheese. The key to a good caesar dressing is adding a bit of anchovy paste. I’m not huge on anchovies in general and prefer not to have them on my salad but the paste gives the dressing an unbelievable flavor.
When I make this salad for friends and family they always go crazy and say it’s the best they’ve had. In my humble opinion, it’s pretty damn good.
Three musts to make this salad a success is the dressing, fresh romaine (not the bagged kind), and my homemade croutons. I know we all like shortcuts and don’t have a ton of time but I promise if you follow the recipe as written, you will love this salad!! Add some grilled chicken and it’s a meal!
Caesar Salad Recipe
Serves 6 appetizer portions or 4 dinner portions
1 large head fresh romaine
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Anchovy Paste
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (I LOVE garlic so I use 2 large cloves)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan Reggiano Cheese, shredded
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp fresh ground Pepper
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Wash your romaine. While your romaine drys (I wrap my lettuce up in a kitchen towel until it's completely dry, no one likes soggy lettuce) prepare dressing and croutons. For the dressing, combine the zest and juice of one lemon with anchovy paste, dijon, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in the bottom of a salad bowl (This is another key step. You can make ahead and toss when you’re ready to serve). Slowly whisk in the olive oil (be sure to use a good olive oil, I really like this one) making sure to incorporate all the ingredients really well. Next, add the romaine and croutons on top of the dressing. Give the salad a good toss and top with the fresh parmesan reggiano cheese (I use a vegetable peeler to get nice long pieces of cheese). Add a bit more cracked pepper and voila!
1 half of a large baguette (or any crusty bread...I often use ciabatta too)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes and place on a baking sheet. Pour olive oil over bread (I eyeball everything for the croutons). Give them a good coating but don’t overdo it. Next, sprinkle the bread with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic powder & onion powder. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.