caesar salad, from scratch


I love caesar salad.  Both my families can attest that I order it every. single. time. we eat out. 

It may sound boring, but let me just say, there is a wide range of caesar salads.  Some are mediocre, some are downright terrible (too much dressing, anyone?), and a select few are divine.  The hunt for a great one keeps me ordering it over and over again.  My all-time favorite was made from scratch table-side at a restaurant in Bermuda.  I think the server used about 25 different ingredients, including hot sauce (more on that later).  And so, I despaired at ever making a great caesar salad of my own.

Then I found this recipe randomly while working out - and decided to give it a go.  Welcome to my new favorite:

Caesar Salad
adapted from Christina Ferrare, via O Magazine
serves 6

For croutons:
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
3 T. olive oil
3 c. roughly chopped bread cubes (from sourdough or baguette)

For dressing:
2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. kosher salt
1 clove garlic , minced
4 anchovy fillets , chopped and mashed into a paste
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. canola oil
2-3 drops hot sauce - my twist

To assemble:
2 heads romaine lettuce (about 1 pound)

1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup and 2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)

To make croutons: Combine smashed garlic clove and olive oil; infuse for 20 minutes.  Remove garlic from oil (it can be reserved and used to make the dressing). In a large bowl, toss oil and bread cubes together.  Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat and add the bread cubes, stirring occasionally.  Cook until golden and crunchy, 10-12 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

To make dressing: In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic,  anchovies, and hot sauce; whisk until smooth.  In another bowl, briefly whisk together olive and canola oils. Whisking lemon juice mixture constantly, add oil in a slow, steady stream. Use dressing immediately, or store in refrigerator for 1 day; shake well before using.

To make salad: Wash, dry, and tear lettuce into pieces. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, salt, 1/3 cup Parmesan, most of the croutons, and 1/2 of the dressing (reserve rest for another use). Toss salad together, making sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, a handful of croutons, and a sprinkle of fresh black pepper.
My Notes: Using anchovies for the first time was surprisingly easy and not as gross as I was expecting.  Also, hot sauce contains just the right amount of spice and kick to this dressing.  Be careful not to overdo the salt - between the dressing and parmesan there is plenty of it.  Finally - the homemade croutons were awesome!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...