Friday 13 December 2013

Classic Caesar Salad Dressing


Happy Birthday Mom!! 

When I lived in Vancouver, my friend and her husband regularly hosted dinners for their single friends.  I recall she made the most amazing Caesar salad dressing and always made extra so we could hang out in the kitchen and dip chunks of bread into it while the meal was being cooked.

Most Caesar dressings are similar, although they will vary in the amount of each and every ingredient.  Every ingredient can impact the overall taste and this version simply reflects my own preferences: average amount of anchovy, heavy on the garlic and not too rich (I used one whole egg instead of 2 yolks).

Dressing Ingredients:
4 garlic cloves (about 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp)
2 tsp anchovy paste
1 egg (or 2 yolks)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt

For the salad:
Romaine hearts
Cooked bacon, broken into pieces
Additional parmesan cheese
Croutons / Bread

I coddled the egg first ... I'm not normally too concerned but the eggs I had were getting a little old in the fridge.  Place a room temperature egg (run under warm tap water if it's fresh out of the fridge) into a bowl.  Pour bowling water around the egg and let sit about 45 seconds.  Immediately remove the egg and run under cold water to cool it down (I usually dump the egg into a colander which is sitting under a tap).

Mince the garlic cloves and place in a mason jar with the anchovy paste, egg, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil and grated parmesan.  Screw on the lid and shake until all ingredients are well blended. Season with salt and pepper and adjust other ingredients as needed.  Alternatively, mix all dressing ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl.  Then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  But the mason jar option is much easier!

For the bread part of the salad, I toasted and sliced up some pita bread and broke it into pieces.

The salad itself does not require much dressing, so if this is your first time, add it a bit at a time.  Toss the lettuce in a bowl with just enough dressing to lightly coat it.  Add croutons, cooked bacon and additional parmesan cheese for serving.

I was going to serve it with whole leaves, large pieces of bacon and the pita bread triangles.  My plan was to make it a bit fancy and make a design with the dressing by using a squirt bottle.  I guess I didn't screw the top on tight enough.

This is why I don't try to fancy things up ... super klutz!

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