Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

A Caesar salad goes great with a good steak – or chicken, pork chops – even all by itself if you’re only a little bit hungry!

The Caesar salad has been around for a while.  It is believed to have been invented by an Italian-American, Caesar Cardini, who owned restaurants in Los Angeles and Tijuana, Mexico.  According to the story, on the 4th of July, 1924, a rush on the Tijuana restaurant depleted the food.  Cardini used what he had and dramatically tossed the salad at the side of the table.    In 1946, Dorthy Kilgallen wrote about the salads introduction to a fine New York steak house.  It was a hit and the rest is history.

It is noted that Cardini’s daughter, Rosa, said that the original recipe did not include anchovies, but rather Worcestershire sauce.  The eggs were not raw, but coddled and the entire salad was served on whole lettuce leaves with the intention of picking them up with your fingers and eating the salad in rolled in the leaves.

Make the croutons first.

What you need:

  • 6-8 slices of stale sourdough baguette bread (or other thick sliced bread)
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic

How to Do it:

Mix the last four ingredients well.  Brush the mixture over both sides of each slice of bread.  Cut the bread into cubes and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 3-5 minutes, then turn or stir and bake until the cubes are golden brown.  Watch them carefully – they burn fast!

Next make the dressing

What you need:

  • 2 cloves of fresh, crushed garlic
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 egg yolks

How to Do it:

Whisk the garlic, salt and pepper, Dijon, anchovy paste, and egg yolks together until well blended.  Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil and whisk quickly until the mixture becomes emulsified and thickened.

If you don’t want to use raw eggs, mix the garlic, anchovy paste, mustard and salt and pepper into real mayonnaise (or do like I usually do and buy a bottle of Cardini’s original Caesar dressing).

Now put it all together!

What you need:

  • 4-6 cups romaine lettuce torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (a good quality cheese)
  • 6-8 anchovy fillets, chopped fine (optional)
  • The Dressing
  • The Croutons

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Serve immediately!

Makes 4-6 servings


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5 Responses to Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

  1. I love homemade croutons. Thanks for sharing with us at Family Joy Blog Link Up Party this week!

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  3. Pingback: Grilled Hearts of Romaine - The Lazy GastronomeThe Lazy Gastronome

  4. Pingback: Caesar Potato Salad - Anchovies Optional - The Lazy GastronomeThe Lazy Gastronome

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