Lunchtime Special: Chicken Caesar Salad
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!
Caesar Salad & Caesar Dressing Recipe
1 small garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup Canola oil
1 tin of anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
Ground black pepper and salt to taste
- Croutons- 2 cups torn pieces of peasant bread 3" big
- Lettuce- 3 heads of romaine, preferably only the hearts
- Fresh block of Parmesan Cheese
- Create a paste of anchovies, pressed garlic, and pinch of salt. Use a mortar and pestle to combine and add paste to a bowl.
- Whisk in egg yolks, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard.
- Slowly drip olive oil the bowl, whisking constantly and then increase to slow stream.
- Then add in Canola oil; whisk until dressing is thick and fully combined. *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.
- Add more of any one ingredient you like to stand out- cheese, lemon, anchovies or more pepper!
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Make your own from the last bits of bread that may not have gotten eaten (never!) from your recent homemade loaf of bread. Tearing the bread makes this feel more rustic.
- Toss bread with olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
- Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10 minutes.
- Combine torn salad leaves with dressing and croutons and toss gently.
- 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.
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