Top-Notch Caesar Salad

Oh. My. Goodness.

This here, folks, is the best caesar salad I’ve ever tasted…in my life!

Yum. Yummy. Yum-O!

The dressing is homemade (as my 7th grade self would have exclaimed …’duh’!) with an extra helping of salty, savory anchovies. It’s emulsified in the blender (no whisking required)! The croutons are tossed in garlic butter and toasted perfectly for a totally forkable crispy outside and soft inside. Good God this salad is good.

You are going to crack up when I tell you this, but I used hot dog buns for the croutons! It was the hot dog bun’s Glory Day!! They turned out to be the perfect thickness! Who knew? (They were going to spoil and I had no white bread in the pantry. It was just one of those little happy accidents.) I’m sure any kind of white bun or thick white bread would work just as well as our trashy hot dog bun friend. : )

You’ve got to try this salad. You’ll forever-after cringe at the thought of the bagged stuff.

Caesar Salad

For the dressing
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 oil-packed anchovies
4 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (1/2 cup)
For the salad
1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated fine
1 large head romaine lettuce (about 1 lb., 6 oz.), torn into 1- to 1-1/2 -inch strips, washed and dried
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Garlic-Butter Croutons
Make the dressing
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the canola and olive oils. Put the remaining dressing ingredients except the Parmigiano in a blender and blend until thoroughly combined. With the motor running on medium high, carefully pour in the oils in a slow, steady stream. The dressing will emulsify as soon as all of the oil is incorporated. Stop the motor, add the Parmigiano, and quickly blend to combine.

Make the salad

Put the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Drizzle about 1/3 cup of the dressing over the lettuce and toss well. Taste and add more dressing if necessary, a teaspoon or so at a time, until the leaves are nicely dressed. Add 1/4 cup (more to taste) of the Parmigiano and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the croutons, toss well, and serve.

Garlic-Butter Croutons

4-5 hot dog buns or thick white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

6 Tbs. butter

3 large cloves garlic, peeled & smashed

kosher salt

Heat oven to 350°

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic and mash into butter. Heat until butter is fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Discard garlic.

Arrange bread cubes on a large sheet pan. Drizzle butter over the bread cubes and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer, sprinkle with salt, and toast until a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.

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