Simple and Elegant Caesar Salad
A good Caesar Salad is one of my favorite things. What makes a Caesar Salad "good?" FRESH Caesar dressing. You can make this restaurant favorite at home in a flash ... and you'll never buy a bottle of Caesar dressing again!
I love serving a Caesar Salad more "deconstructed." By simply slicing the heads of romaine lettuce in half and then drizzling with dressing creates a beautiful presentation and elevates a simple salad to an elegant show-stopper.
All the dressing ingredients are probably things that you already have in your pantry, with exception to the anchovies. Now, don't turn your nose up at anchovies and do NOT omit them from this recipe. If you came over to my house and ate this salad you would have no idea anchovies were in the dressing. They add incredible flavor and are really good for you!
One thing missing from the cast of characters? Raw eggs. A lot of restaurant Caesar dressings contain raw eggs (just ask your waiter before ordering if you can't eat raw eggs). I love this recipe because you don't have to worry about it!
Homemade croutons make all the difference. Try toasting them in a cast iron skillet instead of the oven. You have more control over the amount of toasting that occurs and it leaves them crunchy on the outside while still soft on the inside.
Make this quick-and-easy Caesar Salad for your next dinner party or week night dinner at home.
Caesar Salad 4 whole anchovy fillets 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled 1/2 whole lemon, juiced 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 1 dash salt Freshly ground black pepper Croutons: 1/2 loaf crusty French bread 1/4 cup olive oil 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled Salt Salad: Romaine lettuce Fresh Parmesan wedge
For the dressing: Place the anchovies into a food processor. Throw in the Dijon mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse the processor or blend on low speed for several seconds. Scrape down the sides.
With the food processor on, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture in a small stream. Scrape down the sides. Add the Parmesan, salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Pulse the whole thing together and mix until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate the dressing for a few hours (it just gets better!) before using it on the salad.
For the croutons: Slice the bread into thick slices and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Crush the garlic and add it to the oil. Use a spoon to move the garlic around in the pan. After 3 to 5 minutes, add sliced bread to pan and heat, flipping bread occasionally, until croutons are evenly toasted and crisp. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
For the salad: Wash and dry the romaine lettuce. Slice the heads of romaine in half and put one half on each plate. Use a vegetable peeler and shave off large, thin slices of Parmesan.
Drizzle each half of romaine lettuce with dressing. Sprinkle Parmesan shavings and croutons over each. Finish with a fresh ground salt and pepper.