Mama Mia's Caesar Salad

"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."
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  • 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.

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  1. Im a vegitarian so I used an avacado instead of the eggs..


<p>I recently celebrated my 19th anniversary living in SW Florida. I moved here from Massachusetts, just north of Boston. As much as I miss family back home, I truly love living here - the beaches, the tropical beauty, the people, and the weather (except the hurricanes!). Everyday is just another day in Paradise. I work at the new international airport here in Fort Myers. I have an opportunity to meet many different and interesting people from around the world. I've had an interest in cooking since I was a little boy, following my grandmother around the kitchen. Since I wasn't blessed with any artistic or musical talent, I think cooking was my way of being creative. My passion is my family and friends. My second passion is cooking for them. My favorite way to entertain is informally...brunches, cookouts, and small dinner parties. Just relaxing, enjoying each other's company, some good food and drink, and a little fun are the only rules of the house.</p>
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