Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

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This is by far my favorite salad.  A couple of years ago you would never have heard those words coming from my mouth.  I never liked salad, and you know the endless bottles of dressing at the grocery store? I could not get a taste for a single one.  At restaurants I would opt for a fruit cocktail, as my dinner companions looked at me as if I were a child.  Then one cold night in February we went to a tavern for my husband’s birthday (they supposedly had the best prime rib everrr!), I was in my 3rd month of pregnancy and the thought of pasta, steak, or fish made my stomach churn (you know how they call it “morning sickness”, well I had “all damn day sickness”, I’m sure many can relate).  So I strolled to the salad bar in search of fruit cocktail or chocolate pudding, but no such luck, only salad, so I sparsely layered pieces of lettuce with a drop of dressing onto my plate, and made my way back to the table.  I put a piece (and I mean a single piece) of lettuce in my mouth, with my water close by to choke it down if need be, but surprisingly I liked it!  After that night I’ve tried countless salads and dressings, and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  This salad in particular, I enjoy the most.  This recipe comes from my mom once again, and I could seriously live on the homemade, salty, ciabatta croutons alone.  There is a raw egg yolk in the dressing, raw eggs do not scare me for some reason, maybe because of the endless spoonfuls of batter I have consumed since my childhood without as much as a stomachache (knock on wood).

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small ciabatta loaf

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 garlic cloves minced

2 to 3 flat anchovies, drained and rinsed with warm water

1 egg yolk

juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 heads of romaine lettuce hearts torn into bite size pieces

1/4 cup of shaved fresh parmesan

Directions:

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First make the croutons.  In a large frying pan add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

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Cut the ciabatta loaf into bite size cubes.

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Add ciabatta cubes to the oil and cook over medium heat.

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Continue cooking the ciabatta cubes and flip them until they are golden brown on all sides.  Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.

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Cut or tear the romaine into bite size pieces (some people do not believe in cutting lettuce, I always do, I’m a rebel).

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Now we will make the dressing.  In a large bowl add garlic, anchovies, salt and pepper to taste.  Mash with the back of a fork until anchovies and garlic are thoroughly mashed and incorporated together (make sure you take the time to mash these well).

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Whisk in the egg yolk and lemon juice.

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Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking until emulsified.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

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Add lettuce, parmesan cheese, and croutons and toss to combine.  Serve immediately.

Click here for printable recipe.

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3 thoughts on “Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

  1. I love Caesar Salad. I may have to try your dressing recipe. Seems I can’t find one that doesn’t give me dragon breath…lol!

    Like

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