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Classic Caesar Salad

Posted November 12th, 2013

We all have our favorite comfort foods and one of mine is a classic Caesar Salad. It's not a complicated dish, but I feel like it's become so standardized and ubiquitous, that many restaurants end up serving a variation that lacks substantial flavor. It can also be a little polarizing for people who dislike anchovies (which I feel are essential) or are fearful of raw egg (again, a necessity in my opinion), but when done right, it can be the highlight of a great meal. There are a lot of recipe variations, but here's my go-to version, with homemade croutons and a dressing that has a slight bite:

Ingredients (salad)

1 garlic clove, cut in half
4-5 anchovy fillets
Juice of 2 lemons
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tbs dijon mustard (the spicier the better)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and hand torn into pieces

Ingredients (croutons)

1 loaf of Italian bread, cut into 1/2 squares (I like to leave the crust on, but you can remove if you prefer)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence (optional)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Recipe (salad)

1. Take the sliced garlic clove and rub it on the inside of your serving bowl, then discard. 

2. Put the anchovies, lemon juice, mustard and egg yolk into a blender and mix until all the ingredients are combined. With the blender still running, slowly pour in the olive oil. When done blending, pour the dressing into a bowl, mix in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. The dressing will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

3. Pour 1-2 tables spoons of dressing into the serving bowl and spread it around with the back of a spoon, then add the romaine lettuce and gently toss. Add more dressing as desired, along with the croutons and toss again. Finish with some shaved parmesan and sprinkling of salt. 

Recipe (Croutons)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place bread cubes into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Mix to coat the bread and season with salt and pepper.

3. Spread the cubes on to a baking sheet and cook for 15-17 minutes, till you reached your desired crispiness.

4. Remove pan from oven and finish with a sprinkling of Herbs de Provence (optional).

5. Allow croutons to cool slightly before adding them to the salad.
 

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