Caesar Salad

Condiments and Dressings Salads
Happy 2014!  Wow! A new year!  I always love it around the first of the year; there is always so much going on. Resolutions are trying to be me,t and everyone is trying to recover from the holidays and all that food!  We are all trying to eat a little healthier to start the year off right.  I try really hard to get a well-balanced diet into our meals.  I also try to make as many things from scratch as I possibly can, and this dressing is no exception.  I have asked myself all weekend why I didn’t try to make this dressing sooner!  I think maybe I was afraid of anchovies and the fact that most recipes for Caesar dressing call for a raw egg.  After having Jacob, I developed some sort of allergy to eggs.  I can eat eggs in things like cakes or bread, but I have a hard time with any type of cooked eggs like scrambled, deviled, quiche, etc.  This is why I have hesitated for so long.  Then I came across this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and knew I had to try it. The best thing about this dressing is that it is more on the side of a vinaigrette so it’s healthier for you!  I am not sure how many healthy recipes I have, but I will do my best to try and incorporate more this month as we are on our health kicks!

Caesar Salad

For the Dressing
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 whole Anchovy fillets
2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard, I used a very grainy mustard for this recipe
1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Croutons
1/2 loaf of Crusty French Bread
2 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad
1 head Romaine Lettuce, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup Croutons
1/4 cup Caesar Dressing
Shaved or grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions
For the dressing:
In the bowl of a food processor add the Anchovy Fillets, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.  Pulse until well combined.  On low speed gradually add the olive oil.  Once the mixture is emulsified add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and pulse once to combine.  Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For the croutons:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.  In a large skillet on medium  heat add the butter, olive oil and garlic.  While the butter, olive oil and garlic are heating cube the bread and set aside.  Let the garlic cook in the pan for at least 5 minutes.  Add the bread to the skillet. Toss until all the bread in well coated.  Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Stir until well combined.  Cook the bread until it’s golden brown.  About 5 to 7 minutes.  Once the bread in nice and toasty transfer it to the baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes turning the pan 1/2 way through.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.

To assemble the salad:
In a large bowl.  Add the romaine lettuce and 1/4 cup of the dressing.  Toss until well combined.  Add the croutons and shaved or grated Parmesan and toss again.  Serve immediately.

Recipe Source:
Caesar Dressing: Pioneer Woman
Croutons: Me

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