About this Recipe
This Caesar Inspired Dressing and Salad gives you another option for making your own salad dressing. We leave out the anchovy and Worchestershire sauce. Easy salads, like a Caesar salad really only has the 4 ingredients which are the Romain lettuce, the croutons, the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the salad dressing itself. This easy salad is an all time favorite and goes well with many dishes. It also can be a full meal on its own if you have a nice large portion.
Some foods that are popular to eat with Caesar salad are grilled chicken,shrimp,salmon and steak. This salad pairs well with most every dish. It is a popular salad for potluck and picnics. Its creamy texture, and flavor of garlic make it a popular choice. Some Caesar salads can be a bit too heavy on the garlic and when that happens it overpowers. Whenever you are working with garlic, start with one clove, do your taste test and determine if you want to add more or not.
1. Choose the highest quality olive oil that you can. Look for low acidity, first cold pressed and extra virgin.
2. Wash the lettuce ahead of time and give it several hours in the refrigerator to cool and get nice and crispy before using.
3. Make the salad dressing at least 2 hours ahead of time to give it time for the flavors to immerse into each other.
4. Use freshly shredded Parmesan cheese to add to the actual salad and you can use grated cheese when making the salad dressing.
5. All garlic is not the same. Some garlic is very mild while others are very pungent. Use caution in any dish you are adding garlic to and get to know the garlic variety you are using.
Here is a simple recipe to make your own Homemade Croutons
Makes 1 1/4 cups dressing
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
2 Tablespoons pure lemon juice
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and mix until creamy.
2. In a pinch, put the garlic through a garlic press and mix vigorously by hand.
3. Taste as you go, adding more or less of each ingredient to your liking.
4. Make this large batch and keep it in a glass jar refrigerated. If the olive oil hardens in the refrigerator, take the dressing out about 30 minutes before you plan to use so the olive oil will come to room temperature.
Preparing the Romain lettuce for the salad.
1. Cut the end off the salad bunch.
2. Run a sink of cold water and add 1 cup vinegar to the water. It is suggested to use a 3 water to 1 vinegar ratio to kill bacteria.
3. Place the individual leaves into the water and let them sit for 5-10 minutes.
4. Handle the leaves gently so you do crush them.
5. If you have a salad spinner, use that, putting a few leaves at a time to spin off the excess moisture.
6. If you do not have a salad spinner, give the leaves a bit of a flicking motion to shake off the moisture.
7. Place the leaves onto clean paper towels to absorb remaining moisture.
8. Place into a container with a lid that seals to keep fresh. It is a good idea to put either a clean paper towel or cloth towel at the bottom of the container and another on the top of the lettuce. This will assure the lettuce leaves are not sitting in water as the leaves continue to drip and that the condensation that may form on the lid top will be absorbed into the towel on the top. These tips make the lettuce last longer. Cold lettuce tasted better than room temperature so after cleaning give an adequate amount of time having the lettuce refrigerated before using.
Assemble the salad.
1. Tear rather than cut the leaves into bite sized pieces into a salad bowl.
2. Add the appropriate amount of salad dressing to the portion of lettuce and gently toss to coat.
3. Add the croutons and the fresh finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Romain Lettuce is the preferred choice of lettuce for a Caesar Salad. These are the characteristics of Romain lettuce. The head is elongated and the leaves are stiff. The leaves are sweet and are course and they keep well.Here are some other varieties of lettuce to know and enjoy.
Crisphead Lettuce is also known as Iceberg lettuce. It is the most well known in the lettuce family and the most available. These heads are crisp in texture, heavy and firm and they have a small core. The outside color is medium green but as you move towards the center the leaves shade off to a pale green.
Boston Lettuce is a member of the butter lettuce family. This loose leaf lettuce has leaves that are softer and more oily feeling. The outer leaves can be a very dark green and the inner leaves fade off to almost white. It needs to be used very quickly as it goes bad rapidly, so best to use it within a day of bringing it home for the best quality.
Bibb Lettuce is a small cup shaped lettuce. It is crisp with distinct flavor and color. Favored to use in single salads the leaves are a rich deep green on the outside and whitish towards the center.
Leaf Lettuce is sweet, has good keeping qualities and the leaves are lightly bunched with ragged edges.
There are other greens that we use in salad making such as chicory, endive, celery cabbage, spinach and watercress.