Retro Recipes Caesar Salad

Lettuce Start from the very beginning As a foodie and regular entertainer, I often ask people to share their favorite foods, especially if they will be a guest at my home for dinner.  I like to re-create foods that...

Lettuce Start from the very beginning
Lettuce Start from the very beginning

As a foodie and regular entertainer, I often ask people to share their favorite foods, especially if they will be a guest at my home for dinner.  I like to re-create foods that folks remember and have always enjoyed.  One of the latest requests was for a Caesar Salad to start a meal of favorite foods.  I am more of a vinegar based dressing gal, so this is not a usual salad for me to serve.  I inquired if anchovies were approved in the salad and was asked if they could be omitted.  I knew Worcestershire sauce could still be the secret ingredient to bump up the flavors.  I had fun reviewing an old recipe of my Mom’s that included a minced hard boiled egg or two as the finishing to this classic salad.  I did some adapting and settled on the recipe below.  Sometimes it is the simplest ingredient that makes the difference and in this case it was the homemade garlic croutons.  My young guest was accustomed to those bread offerings in foil bags over the quick, simple and delicious option that a homemade crouton can offer.   I have since made this salad three different times with three different croutons and it is still all about these golden treats for this young man!

Caesar Salad
Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 - 8 cloves garlic, peeled and divided
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise, ( I am slight on the mayo)
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice ( I am heavy on the juice, at least one lemon for me, sometimes 1 ½)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups day-old bread, cubed ( Any bread or rolls will work)
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces.  These often come three smaller  heads to a bag.

Directions:

  1. Finely grate 3 cloves of garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, 2 - 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. Again, I am slight on the Mayo and heavier on the lemon juice.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining 3 cloves of garlic into quarters, and add to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown, and then remove garlic from pan. Add bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Remove bread cubes from oil, and season with salt and pepper. I have also seasoned the olive oil with Garlic Salt and Pepper in a pinch.
  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes.
  4. Take the time to make these homemade croutons. This will make this salad even more special!

Bread Croutons
Bread Croutons

 

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