Recipe by Alan in SW Florida
After a number of years of experimenting and tweaking, I believe that this recipe for Caesar Salad is the "best". From the dressing to the croutons, everything works together to deliver a perfectly balanced salad...garlicky, lemony, savory, yet bright...Everything a Caesar Salad should be!! You can always use store-bought croutons, however, the difference between homemade and store-bought croutons is unbelievable...and, they are easy to make and a good way to use up stale French bread. For the dressing, I feel that I have found the right balance of lemon, garlic, and olive oil. But, since it is all a matter of personal taste, feel free to adjust the amounts as you see fit. And, if you are concerned about using raw eggs, use pasteurized eggs instead.
- 1 large head romaine lettuce (about 10 ounces)
- 1⁄2 cup caesar salad dressing (recipe follows)
- 1 cup garlic-flavored croutons (recipe follows)
- 1⁄3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
- 4 -8 anchovy fillets (optional, for garnish)
- 1 loaf French bread, with crust cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 pound)
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh Italian parsley (flat-leaf parsley)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 5 anchovy fillets
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mustard powder (I like "Coleman's Original English Mustard" superfine mustard powder... found in the spice aisle)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- MAKING THE SALAD: Cut the head of Romaine lettuce lengthwise and then crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Wash and dry the lettuce thoroughly and place in a large bowl. Chill in the refrigerator while preparing the other ingredients.
- Immediately before serving, add about a 1/2 cup of the dressing to the lettuce. Toss until all the leaves are covered. Taste and add more dressing, if desired. Add the garlic-flavored croutons and toss again.
- Evenly divide the salad between 4 plates and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and top with 1 or 2 anchovy fillets, if desired.
- MAKING THE GARLIC-FLAVORED CROUTONS: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread cubes in a single file on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry and barely golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Combine the olive oil, parsley and garlic in a small bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the bread and drizzle it with the olive oil mixture. Toss well to coat and return the pan to the oven. (You MUST bake the croutons twice! The first baking dries the bread and gives a little color. The second baking gets them crispy and golden. If you toss the bread cubes with the oil mixture and only bake once, the garlic will burn before the the bread gets crispy and golden). Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for 6 months (be sure to defrost before using). Makes about 10 cups.
- MAKING THE CAESAR DRESSING: In the bowl of a food processor, add the garlic, anchovies, salt, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder. (If whisking by hand, chop the garlic and anchovies before combining with the other ingredients). Pulse to combine. Add the egg yolks and pulse until blended and thickened.
- With the motor running, very slowly drizzle the oils through the feed tube until they are fully incorporated and the dressing is thick and emulsified. (Of course, you can always use an immersion blender or whisk the dressing by hand.).
- Transfer the dressing to a bowl and whisk in the Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.