To get the most out of your food every day you must look to satisfy the senses- sweet, salty, smooth, chewy, crunchy. Many of us love crunchy which is why so many of us also love snack foods- they tend to hit you with a one-two punch of salty and crunchy. And without question why we all love a good Caesar salad, if done right which is why so many of us order the salad as an appetizer dining out more often than we make it at home. But, hey, we are home so let’s do it right. And rest assured, you are safe to eat romaine again. The CDC is no longer advising that people avoid the lettuce.
What makes a good Caesar for me is the perfect balance of citrus tang, Parmesan spice, and garlic punch layered with homemade crouton crunch and the anchovies’ slightly fishy, but ever so salty bite. To me a Caesar is not a Caesar if you leave out the fish- just sayin’- it is the umami in this sensory salad that is all about the dressing!
For my husband I always add grilled chicken to make it hearty enough for an entree, but is just as satisfying without!
- 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
- 1 small garlic clove
- Kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
- ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups torn 1" pieces country bread, with crusts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 romaine hearts, leaves separated
- Chop together anchovy fillets, garlic, and pinch of salt. Use the side of a knife blade to mash into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in olive oil, then vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. *It is key to go slowly with the adding the oil because this is when the emulsification happens! Whisk in Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
- Make your own from the last bits of bread that may not have gotten eaten (never!) from your recent homemade loaf of bread. Tearing, not cutting the bread ensures more surface area to catch the dressing and add texture. Preheat oven to 375°. Toss bread with olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10–15 minutes.
- Use whole leaves; they provide the ideal mix of crispness, surface area, and structure or if you like the work done for you tear as you see fit.
- For an elegant finishing touch, shave your Parmesan over the top with a vegetable peeler to allow for a taste of it ever couple of bites.
Toss it Together
- Use your hands to gently toss the lettuce (so you don’t bruise the leaves), croutons, and dressing, then top off with the shaved Parmesan.
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