Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Salad Dressing: Caesar

Caesar Salad is something I have learned to love only recently. It's something about the saltiness of the dressing and the cheese and the texture of the croutons that I really love. I do always add tomatoes to mine, though. Just lettuce and croutons isn't enough for me.

Taken from Cook's Illustrated, January 2011
Serves 4 to 6

Notes about ingredients:
1/4 C Egg Beaters can be substituted for the egg yolks
Grate garlic cloves on a rasp-style grater to create paste

Ingredients for Croutons
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic paste (made from 1 medium clove)
1/2 – 3/4 loaf ciabatta, cut into 3/4” cubes (about 5 C)
1/4 water
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Ingredients for Salad
3/4 tsp garlic paste (made from 1 large clove)
2 – 3 Tbsp juice from 1 – 2 lemons
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp anchovy paste
2 large egg yolks
5 Tbsp canola oil
5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 oz finely grate Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 C)
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 – 3 romaine hearts (sliced, rinsed, and dried well), about 8 to 9 lightly pressed cups

Directions for the Croutons
Combine 1 tablespoon oil and garlic paste in small bowl; set aside.

Place bread cubes in large bowl. Sprinkle with water and salt. Toss, squeezing gently so bread absorbs water.

Place remaining 4 tablespoons oil and soaked bread cubes in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, push croutons to sides of skillet to clear center, add garlic/oil mixture to clearing and cook with residual heat of pan, 10 seconds. Sprinkle with Parmesan; toss until garlic and Parmesan are evenly distributed. Transfer croutons to bowl; set aside.

Directions for the Salad
Whisk garlic paste and 2 tablespoons lemon juice together in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.

Whisk Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and egg yolks into garlic/lemon juice mixture. While whisking constantly, drizzle canola oil and extra virgin olive oil into bowl in slow, steady stream until fully emulsified. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and pepper to taste; whisk until incorporated.

Add romaine to dressing and toss to coat. Add croutons and mix gently until evenly distributed. Taste and season with up to additional 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Serve immediately, passing remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan separately. 

My Notes:
This was really great! We had it for dinner with some bread and big bowls of soup. It is something that I will definitely make again.

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