This is a re-post of a classic recipe that is and will always be a part of our household – Aimee’s family Caeser salad recipe. The first time this was made for me, I literally was bowled over by how different this caeser was compared with all those other sub-par caeser’s that I’d eaten in pubs and restaurants over the years. This salad makes you forget all about those other salads and shines as a meal unto itself. I maintain still that it’s the best recipe we’ve ever produced on this blog, so at our 2 year anniversary, I give you it once again – with updated pictures. Enjoy!
Caesar salad is an American staple. In fact, Caesar salad is probably one of the most predictable menu items, whether you are at a high end restaurant or a local diner. Even at the grocery store, you are guaranteed at least ten varieties of bottled Caesar dressing.
Somewhere along the line, the standard for Caesars has been lowered. Often, you end up with wilted romaine overdressed with a mayonnaise-heavy, salty dressing and stale and dry boxed croutons. When a Caesar salad is made well, however, nothing satisfies quite like it. With a little effort, a real Caesar salad and fresh croutons are easy enough to make at home, and are worth every moment of the extra effort. So put that “Caesar in a Bag” kit back on the shelf, and pick up a few fresh ingredients to make a real Caesar salad.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized skillet. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook until they are soft and golden brown.
Remove the garlic cloves and reserve for the dressing. Add the cubes of bread and stir or toss thoroughly to coat with the olive oil. Cook the croutons in the skillet until they are golden brown on all sides, usually about five minutes. Stir or toss frequently to prevent them from burning. At the end, add salt and pepper to taste and toss or stir. Remove and place on a paper towel to cool before adding to the salad.
In a large salad bowl, using the back of a fork, smash the sauteed garlic to make a paste. Add the egg yolk, the Dijon mustard, the mayonnaise, the Worcestershire sauce, and the lemon juice and stir. Use a garlic press crush the raw clove of garlic and add it to the bowl. Finely chop the anchovy fillets and add to the bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir well. Slowly stream in the olive oil as you stir the other ingredients. The oil should emulsify with the other ingredients, but the dressing will still be a bit chunky. Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually taste the dressing with one of the croutons. Yum!
Wash and dry and entire head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces. Add to the bowl with the salad dressing. Add the croutons and the Parmesan cheese and toss well. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6 people.
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