Chef Notes: Homemade Caesar Dressing

Chef Notes: Homemade Caesar Dressing

Caesar salads have become a restaurant staple. Everyone has one on their menu. Some trendy chefs will deconstruct it or try to fancy it up in one way or another, but it’s always there. I’ve become quite a Caesar salad snob. Don’t judge.

I’ve had a few great ones and many, many disappointments. I’ve also spent quite some time developing my own recipe for the dressing and croutons. It’s one of my “go-to” recipes for entertaining as people rave about it. You could say I’m famous for my Caesar.  The great thing about Caesar salad is that you can serve it as the salad course of a multi-course meal or you can make it the entree. I will sometimes add sundried tomatoes, calamatta olives, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers for a great vegetarian entrée salad or throw grilled shrimp, sauted scallops, blackened salmon, roasted chicken, or grilled steak on top for other entrée salad options. It’s so versatile and easy. You can make the dressing several days in advance but don’t toss it with the greens until just before serving.

Caesar Dressing

1 T Worchestershire sauce
¼ c white wine or champagne vinegar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
7 cloves roasted garlic, crushed & minced until a paste (you can use raw garlic)
1 T Dijon mustard
1 – 2 oz can anchovy fillets, very finely minced
3 boiled eggs (very softly boiled)
½ c finely grated parmesan cheese + more shaved for garnish
Coarsely ground black pepper, TT
Kosher salt, TT
½ c Extra Virgin olive oil
4 heads Romaine lettuce hearts, rinsed well and thoroughly dried
Garlic Croutons, recipe follows

Place all ingredients in blender (or use an immersion blender) and process on med-low speed until smooth and well incorporated.   Tear lettuce into small pieces. Place in a large salad bowl with croutons & toss well with the dressing.  Garnish with shaved parmesan.

Garlic Croutons

1 loaf good quality French bread, cut into 1” cubes
1-2 T finely minced roasted garlic
Kosher salt TT
Coarsely ground black pepper TT
¼ c extra virgin olive oil

Heat oven to 350. Place bread in large mixing bowl. Whisk garlic, salt, pepper, and oil together in a small bowl. Drizzle over bread, tossing a couple of times to ensure even coverage. Spread onto a baking sheet. Bake, tossing once, until golden brown (15-20 mins). Watch carefully after 15 minutes to prevent over-browning. Terrific with the salad but also great served with cheese, tossed on top of soups or used in stuffing, dressing and a savory bread pudding.

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5 Comments

  1. Natalee Caple
    February 07, 08:29 Reply

    What do the TTs stand for? is 1 T a teaspoon or Tablespoon — seems like a tablespoon would be a lot.

  2. Amanda Digges
    February 07, 12:10 Reply

    Hi Natalee,

    TT stands for “to taste”.

    T is tablespoon

    t is teaspoon.

    Sorry for the confusion. I’ll try to remember to be more specific. It’s just recipe shorthand.

    Hope you like the recipe.

    Amanda

  3. Gin
    February 08, 06:22 Reply

    How is the recipe without anchovies? My husband will totally reject the dressing if anchovies are in it? I presume it’s in there for a flavour thing….any substitutes?

  4. Amanda Digges
    April 18, 12:53 Reply

    Hi Gin,

    Capers make a great substitute for anchovies. I’d start with 2 tablespoons and just blend them in with all of the rest of the ingredients. You can always add more if you want. I’ve done this myself and seen it done in many professional kitchens. It totally works.

    Let me know if you try it and how it comes out.

    Thanks for your comment and sorry that it took me so long to respond. I just saw it today.

    Amanda

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