Sometimes there's nothing more classic and satisfying than a Caesar Salad with crunchy croutons and Parmesan cheese. It's my choice of salad whenever I dine out and surprisingly enough, it's pretty easy to make at home. The most difficult part is the dressing, which can sometimes deter those who want to shy away from using raw egg. But guess what? There's no egg in this dressing at all!! Did you know that you can use mustard as an emulsifier instead of an egg? Like raw eggs, mustard is the component that brings everything together and prevents separation of the oil and other ingredients. This way, you can enjoy a healthy homemade version of this classic salad and not have to worry about salmonella
This homemade dressing is lighter and packs more flavor than the creamy dressing you buy in the grocery store. Be sure to dress the salad lightly. A little goes a long way!
Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
4 slices rustic white bread, cubed or torn
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 50g can of anchovies, not drained
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 cups olive oil
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp honey
juice and zest of 1-2 lemons (depending on your taste preference)
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn
1/2 cup good quality Parmesan, grated or thinly sliced
Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Infuse the olive oil with garlic by heating the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan until gently sizzling, remove and let cool slightly. Sprinkle the bread cubes with water then toss with the olive oil. Scatter on a baking tray and toast in the oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. **The water will help the crouton interior stay chewy while the oil will crisp the exterior.
In your blender or food processor pulse the garlic, anchovies and mustard to a paste. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and process to a smooth dressing.
Soak the romaine lettuce in cold water, transfer to a salad spinner and spin dry. Transfer to a large bowl. Dress lightly, reserving any leftover dressing in the refrigerator for your next salad, garnish with croutons and cheese, serve and share.
Recipe adapted from Chef Michael Smith