A Caesar salad is by far Eric’s favorite salad. In fact on our very first date that’s exactly what he ordered (Charisse had the rack of lamb and has never forgiven him for it). Eric is not a huge vegetable fan so when he finds something green he actually likes, we try to incorporate that into the rotation of meals as much as possible. Unfortunately, we also do not buy bottled salad dressings, even though a bottle of Brianna’s Blush Strawberry Vinaigrette might sneak into the cart now and again (but its very rare!). Its just not cost effective buying bottled dressings, they’re are expensive, and full of weird preservatives and artificial flavorings. We always try and make our own, which is cheaper by volume, has no preservatives and comes in a any flavor you want.
We’ve made many great dressings in the past, everything from a chili honey dressing to a balsamic Dijon but we’ve never done Cesar. So last week we went for it, a homemade Caesar dressing. Now a true Caesar calls for a raw egg and has no cream involved whatsoever. Funny how every Caesar on the shelf these days is mostly cream and has no egg. See what we mean about making it yourself? A real Cesar is combination of lemon, vinegar, spices, mustard and yes that raw egg (Charisse substituted a tablespoon of mayo instead since we didn’t want to freak out our dinner guests). It was tart and had a bite to it and went well the the homemade croutons and Reggiano cheese.
To kick up this dish I decided to make homemade croutons, instead of buying the packaged ones. Nobody should really ever need to pay for croutons, which are basically stale baked bread. Seriously this is the easiest thing ever, and if you have half a loaf of bread lying around, the cheapest. Why we ever paid $4.00+ for a bag of these things we’ll never understand. Be sure to make , its a great healthy snack and people will be doing “Quality Control” long before they hit the plate. Best part, you can just toss in any herbs you have on hand for a quick creating and very little effort or cost.
What You Will Need
Bread any type ( I used a multi-seed baguette, but any type will do. Dried out bread is even better!)
Herbs and Spices ( I used garlic salt, oregano, basil, rosemary, and parsley)
Preheat oven to 400*
Cut bread into cubes and toss with enough olive oil and melted butter to coat all the cubes.
Toss with all the herbs and spices
Lay out on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown being careful not to burn. About 15 minutes for mine.
Let cool and keep out so they dry out
What You Will Need
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove (minced)
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 raw egg ( or you can substitute 1 Tbs mayonnaise)
pinch of sugar
Whisk all of the ingredients in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Add romaine lettuces leaves and toss. Top salad with croutons and shaved reggiano cheese.
adapted from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home