Ceasar salad is a classic salad. I am not sure when I had my first caesar salad, but I have always enjoyed them though I do not eat them often. However in the past year, I have been on what I would consider a caesar salad kick. In fact I have probably had more caesar salads in the past year than the previous five years.
I am not sure what started my indulgence in caesar salad, but while in Boston last summer we had a lovely dinner in the north end. Known for their italian food I had my eye on a gnocchi dish as I heard the restaurant made it from scratch and I would not be disappointed. That was true, but I wanted some green, not that a caesar salad is high in nutrition, but it caught my eye on the menu. Well the salad arrived and like the rest of the meal the portion was too much and Little Miss Mixture asked to try.
Cringe! Boo Hiss bad mom, whatever I am not one of those people who is squeamish or freaks out over my child having raw egg or raw fish. I prefer to encourage her desire to taste new foods. Besides I am the mom who has allowed her to have raw cookie dough and guess what everyone we are both fine.
Anyway the salad was very tasty and Little Miss Mixture enjoyed it so much that she has subsequently ordered them for herself when eating out. Fast forward a few months and Mr. Mixture and I went to a restaurant in Mexico that was known for their table side Caesar Salad. The shocker here was Mr. Mixture ate the salad as I am not sure he had ever previously had one. So, back home Little Miss Mixture asks if I could make a caesar salad. The concept of the salad is simple, but it had never occurred to me to make one at home. This is one of those salads that has always been a treat I saved for eating out. Well not anymore I tried and I conquered.
Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken
What you need for the salad:
Marinade Boneless Skinless Chicken breast in olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and garlic. Grill just before ready to serve salad. Romaine lettuce can be served in large slices or torn based on your preference. To assemble salad toss lettuce and croutons in a bowl and mix with Caesar Salad Dressing. It is best if you use your hands to gently mix so the dressing can attach to the lettuce and croutons to optimize the flavor. Chicken can be cut and tossed as well or sliced and placed atop the salad. Once salad is assembled top with some fresh pepper and shaved parmesan and enjoy.
* I think freshly made croutons help to make this salad taste fresh. Croutons are simple and easy and can be made up to 3 days ahead. See recipe below.
Recipe for Caesar Dressing
1 tsp Anchovy paste
1 Small garlic clove
Pinch of Kosher Salt
2 Large Egg Yolks
2 1/4 Tbsp Lemon Juice, using fresh 2 tbsp
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Cup Vegetable oil
3 1/2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
grinds of Black Pepper
Mix together garlic clove, kosher salt and anchovy paste into a paste consistency, being sure to mince and mash the garlic.
Whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard and mix with paste
Gradually add olive oil then Vegetable oil until dressing is thick and glossy
Whisk in Parmesan cheese and season with pepper to taste
Can be made 1 day ahead
Printable Recipe Caesar Salad Dressing
Day old bread, if available ( I used fresh sourdough bread from a local baker and the croutons turned out perfect)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut or tear bread into cubes about 1-2 inches in size. Toss bread in olive oil until lightly coated. Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. You can season with salt, pepper, or herbs of choice if you want a particular flavor. For the caesar salad I simply used olive oil knowing the dressing would be the prominent flavor.
Printable Recipe Homemade Croutons