Classic Caesar Salad Recipe: Fresh, Tangy, and Satisfying

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Introduction:

Caesar salad is a timeless favorite known for its crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons, tangy Caesar dressing, and savory Parmesan cheese. This guide will walk you through the steps to create a delicious Caesar salad at home, perfect as a side dish or a light meal. With fresh ingredients and a homemade dressing, you can enjoy the flavors of this iconic salad anytime.

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought croutons
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced (optional, for traditional flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Dressing:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, minced garlic, minced anchovy fillets (if using), lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.
  2. Slowly Add Olive Oil:
    • Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is creamy and well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the Romaine Lettuce:
    • Tear the romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
  4. Assemble the Salad:
    • Pour half of the dressing over the romaine lettuce and toss gently to coat. Add more dressing as needed, ensuring the lettuce is evenly coated but not overdressed.
  5. Add Croutons and Parmesan:
    • Sprinkle the croutons over the dressed lettuce. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese and toss lightly again.
  6. Serve:
    • Divide the salad among serving plates or bowls. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
  7. Enjoy Your Caesar Salad:
    • Serve immediately as a side dish or add grilled chicken or shrimp for a complete meal. Pair with crusty bread and enjoy!

Conclusion:

Caesar salad is a classic dish that combines crisp lettuce, creamy dressing, and savory toppings for a refreshing and satisfying meal. By following this recipe, you can create a restaurant-quality Caesar salad at home, tailored to your taste preferences. Whether enjoyed as a starter or a main course, this salad is sure to be a hit at any table.

FAQ:

Q1: Can I make the dressing ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the Caesar dressing ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Whisk well before using.

Q2: What can I substitute for anchovies in the dressing?

A: If you prefer not to use anchovies, you can substitute with 1-2 teaspoons of anchovy paste or omit it altogether for a milder flavor.

Q3: Can I use store-bought Caesar dressing?

A: Yes, you can use store-bought Caesar dressing if you prefer. However, homemade dressing typically offers fresher flavors and allows you to adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Q4: How do I make homemade croutons?

A: To make homemade croutons, toss cubed bread with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Q5: Can I add protein to my Caesar salad?

A: Yes, grilled chicken, shrimp, or even tofu can be added to Caesar salad to make it a more substantial meal.

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