What is the one dish I’m always asked to bring to family get togethers? Yup. Caesar salad. Especially birthday dinners. The kids love it. And you know when it is hot as blue blazes here a cold, crisp salad is just about all you want. Well, maybe a couple of glasses of Pinot Grigio, too. Pair that with whole grain, garlic crostini and, baby, you’ve got dinner. Sometimes I top it with thin, very rare slices of flank steak. Grilled breast of chicken slices are right at home. And garlic or jerked shrimp positively sing. I use Dijon mustard to emulsify the dressing rather than egg. I did that for my mother for health reasons then found the dressing lasts a good week in the refrigerator. Maybe more…it just doesn’t last in my house. At least twice a week I take the salad to work for lunch. Leftovers from the night before. I keep the dressing separate in a small food storage container and I put a crostino in a sealed plastic bag. The romaine has been washed, spun dry and dressed with just the parmesan and lots of black pepper. I simply assemble the salad and munch away. I thought of something else. You reaIly want to include the anchovies in the dressing. I know for some they can be foreign and scary but, trust me, you don’t want to leave them out. Because it’s not Caesar salad without anchovies. It’s Caesar salad food. Or in the style of Caesar salad. But it’s not Caesar salad. Second, and more importantly, you won’t even know they’re there. But you WILL if they’re not. It’s just some sad, tired salad thing without them. Okay? So, relax and add the anchovies. You’ll be fine. And so will your Caesar.
Caesar Salad with Garlic Crostini
- 1 large head romaine lettuce or 2 small ones, washed, dried and cut into large bite size pieces.
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. You may want more or less.
- 3-4 tablespoons dressing, recipe below
- 2-3 crostini per person. Maybe one if this is the salad course. 2-3 if this is the main course.
- More black pepper, to taste
- Make dressing and crostini first. When they are done, put lettuce in a large bowl and pour 3-4 tablespoons dressing over, tossing well.
- Sprinkle with half of parmesan cheese and grind some black pepper over. Toss well.
- Add additional cheese, toss well, and serve on individual plates.
- Garnish with crostini.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 lemons, juiced. If you’re lucky enough to have Key limes, 3 juiced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 2-ounce tins flat anchovy filets
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Combine all ingredients in food processor, blender or process with immersion blender. Process until smooth. Taste for seasoning. It may need more lemon juice, mustard or Worcestershire sauce. Should be good, though. Set aside or chill.
- 1 baguette whole grain bread
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 2-3 tablespoons good olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°. Slice baguette into pieces roughly 1/2 inch thick and place cut side up on foil lined baking sheet. (Easy clean up)
- Bake in oven 15 minutes then remove from oven to cool.
- When cool to the touch, rub garlic clove over cut side of each slice.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and a lot of black pepper.
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