Filed Under: italian, salads, Starter, Under 20 Mins, Vegetables

Caesar Salad 101

The best Caesar Salad you've ever had...and so simple you'll make it all the time.

April 8th, 2012

Recipe by Paula Bowman

A small amount of anchovies will add that certain je ne sais quoi to the dressing and will not make it taste fishy. Trust us; try them. Rustic French or Italian bread can be substituted for sourdough. Chopped romaine lettuce can be substituted for romaine hearts.
Servings
4
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 slices sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch dice (about 3-cups)
  • 1/4 Cups olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 Cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 1 anchovy, optional
  • 1 Cup store-bought olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 11/4 teaspoons celery salt
  • 3 dashes of tabasco
  • 3 dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • water, to thin dressing, if needed
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, or 1 pound romaine lettuce hearts
  • 4 lemon wedges, optional
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. On a rimmed sheet pan, toss bread cubes with olive oil and black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and toss until well coated. Bake, stirring once, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  3. On another rimmed sheet pan, arrange bacon, if using, in a single layer and bake until crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels, drain then crumble into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

  4. Meanwhile, in the small bowl of a food processor or blender, combine anchovies and 1/4-cup Parmesan cheese and process until smooth. Add mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, celery salt, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and puree until blended. Thin dressing with 1 teaspoon of water, adding more if necessary, until dressing is desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate if not using right away.

  5. In a large bowl, combine romaine leaves, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and half the dressing. Toss well, adding more dressing as needed until lettuce is lightly coated. Add croutons and cooked bacon; toss again. Arrange salad evenly in loose stacks among 4 plates and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve with a lemon wedge, if desired.

Caesar Salad 101
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

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