I end up making this in the summer when I am in the mood for something salty and tangy. Now I sub grapeseed oil for canola (healthier) and I renamed it “Yael’s Super Caesar Salad.” When my family visited last week, I made Caesar Salad (and threw in some leftover fish) and my son didn’t think the kids would eat this for dinner. To my gleeful surprise, they both ate multiple helpings and Yael, who is seven, wanted me to name this after her since her brother Levi now has “Levi’s Luscious Hot Fudge Sauce.” A food for every grandchild, I guess.
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I’ve been on a Caesar Salad binge for about a month now…crispy heads of Romaine, salty homemade croutons, and creamy dressing: what could be bad about this? I have all the fixins prepared ahead of time, and most days I indulge shamelessly and consume a nice amount of Caesar. Lettuce counts as a vegetable in my eyes.
From what I can remember, Caesar salad has been around as long as I’ve been an adult – in other words for a long, long time. Other salad trends come and go, but Caesar is a staple and beloved by so many young and old. And it seems like everyone has a favorite Caesar salad recipe. Many cooks love the drama and flash involved with making this tableside with a wood bowl, a whisk and elbow grease. But me? I’ve never been a showman, I should say show-woman. All I care about is that the final creation I make brings joy to me and to those I am feeding
This is one of my recipes I made by the gallon back in my catering life. Everyone asked about our Caesar, and ironically I landed a few jobs just because of this simple salad. While I was a business person, I never dared divulge my tried and true catering recipes. And now? If you ask me for a recipe, I’ll gladly share with you!
I simplified my catering recipe even further since I now own a Nutribullet – although a blender works just dandy too. I don’t even bother to grate the parmesan cheese, but weight out what I need and let the blender do all the work. And everything goes in at once, making this a breeze. The version I’m sharing has anchovy paste because I love the salty flavor, but if this doesn’t float your boat just skip the anchovy and add Worcestershire sauce.
Blender Caesar Dressing
Makes 1 ¼ cups dressing
- 1 whole egg (supposed to be coddled for a minute – I used a pasteurized egg instead but you can read how to do this here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coddled_egg)
- ½ cup high quality grated Italian Parmesan/Reggiano cheese-eyeball it or if you have a kitchen scale,r simply weigh out a 2 ounce chunk of cheese
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon + add unseasoned rice vinegar if you don’t have quite enough juice from one large lemon)
- ½ teaspoon anchovy paste (If you don’t like anchovy, use one teaspoon Worcestershire sauce)
- 2 whole cloves garlic
- ½ tsp fresh black pepper ground
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup salad oil (not olive oil – I use canola oil)
To begin with – HAVE EVERYTHING (eggs, lemon, cheese and anchovy paste) AT ROOM TEMPERATURE! If the ingredients aren’t at room temp, you’ll have to slowly drizzle in the oil at the end.
Add all the ingredients including the oil to a Nutribullet or whirl using a blender, run the motor until everything is smooth. This takes me about 20 seconds.
Pour into a glass container and refrigerate at least an hour or up to a week. Let stand at room temp 15 minutes before serving.
To compose the salad, use chopped or whole leaves of Romaine lettuce and fresh croutons too.
Be sure to make homemade croutons! Just cube up a denser (usually leftover) baguette bread into ¾ inch pieces (I use a small loaf from Macrina bakery from my beloved neighborhood Metropolitan Market called “Giusseppe Roll”). Coat the cubes with half a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then bake 325 for ten minutes – or until the cubes are brown. Cool and store at room temperature. I usually make a bunch of these for the week and briefly pop them in the toaster oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes to freshen them up before I toss my salad. I’ve also made the salad a bit unique by using leftover rye bread for croutons. It’s surprisingly great.
It’s not traditional, but I often add halved cherry tomatoes and avocado to my Caesar. Or I add cherry tomatoes along with fresh mint and oregano. I”m shameless.
And finally, if you aren’t into cheese, you can make this eliminating the parmesan — you’ll end up with a creamy, garlicy lemony dressing that is mighty fine.