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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Caesar Salad + Authentic Dressing + Homemade Croutons

Whenever I bring this salad to a party/potluck/function, I always get recipe requests.  It makes me feel extra good, because the dressing is my very own concoction!  I came up with it after sampling lots of Caesar dressings and poring over cooking websites, comparing different Caesar ingredients and adapting it to my taste.

If it grosses you out to use anchovy paste, then you have no business trying to make homemade Caesar dressing, because that's what makes it completely divine (sorry to my vegetarian friends).  I have made this once without anchovy paste, and it was still delicious, but lacking that totally over-the-top flavor.  You can usually find anchovy paste with the Asian foods or near the canned tuna, depending on your grocery store.  It comes in a tube, which comes in a box.  Like this:

You can whip up the dressing and store it in an airtight container the fridge for a while--I'd say about a week (and mind the lemon seeds when squeezing the juice!).

'Un croĆ»ton' is one of the ends of a loaf of bread in French. It probably didn't take people long to figure out that the crusty ends were good to use to dip in soups or as a garnish for other foods.  Homemade croutons are SO EASY that you'll never go back to those stale crusties that you get in a box.  They are also much easier on your teeth, and they don't explode in half when you try to stab one onto the end of your fork.  But, I digress . . .  
It doesn't matter if your French bread is fresh or older for croutons
I usually use the traditional Garlic & Herb
Mrs Dash blend for my herb-butter
Remove from the oven when the edges get brown.
I just use my butcher knife to cut each
slice into about 12 bite-size pieces
Mmmmm . . . so much better than crunchy, store-bought croutons.
Tip: save leftover croutons in a Ziploc bag, then toss 'em for a few
minutes over medium heat in a nonstick skillet to "re-crisp" them
before you serve them a second time.
Add some grilled chicken and make it even better

This salad is great as a side, but I've served it to my family as the main course with grilled chicken breasts and it's a great dinner.  My kids love having "tiny garlic bread" on their salad.  It's so delicious.

1 comment:

  1. I want to come over to your house for Cesar salad!!! It looks divine.


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