Monday, September 13, 2010

Caesar Salad & Homemade Croutons

My sister asked for my recipe for homemade croutons. I couldn't pass that along without sharing our favorite Caesar salad dressing. I always double the dressing recipe so we have it the following week as well. It doesn't stay fresh for longer than a week in the frig. At our house, it is gone long before that. I made this for a Ladies Night Out @ our church.

Caesar Salad

Prep time: 10 min

1-2 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, torn into bite sized pieces (enough to fill a large salad bowl) One head serves about 8 people. The pre-washed/pre-packaged heads only serve 6 people (in our household, we don't use the ribs, we discard that part)

1 cup crouton, to taste (purchased or homemade, see recipe below); optional


In a food processor, combine the following ingredients until thoroughly blended:

3 garlic cloves

3/4 - 1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 lemon

2 1/2 - 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 - 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese Salt and pepper to taste

Add to the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to process:

1/4 cup light olive oil

Process until mixture is emulsified (a mixture of one liquid with another that cannot normally be combined smoothly)

Pour some of the dressing over lettuce, as much or as little as you prefer, and toss well to coat leaves with dressing; I tend to use less and have extra to save for another salad later in the week.

Set one clean hand over your salad bowl and squeeze the lemon half over it- letting the juice drip through your fingers, but catching the pits (discard pits).

Grind some black pepper over the salad to taste.

Add Parmesan cheese and stir to coat.

Taste for seasonings, adding a little more salt, pepper, or cheese if desired.

When the seasonings are correct, add the croutons to the top, give a quick stir, and serve immediately.

This does not keep well- if you need to make in advance, prepare the salad dressing alone and then toss everything together just before serving.

SERVES 8 -10


Food Network

Cook Time: 15 min; Level: Easy


Day old French bread

Olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. Drizzle cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well.

Spread seasoned bread onto a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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