Salad is the side dish that we have most often, it goes with almost everything. I miss going out to restaurants and getting those great salads with the house made dressings. They are always so good and you just can’t replicate the same taste from a store bought dressing. So lately I’ve been making more homemade dressings in small batches so that can change it up without taking up too much space in the fridge. One of my favorite salads is the ever popular Caesar salad, however it’s taken some time experimenting with recipes that tastes like the dressing you might eat at a restaurant, or takeout as we do these days. I found a recipe from “Culinary Hill” that checks all the boxes, simple to make, tastes great and no anchovies! I tweaked it a little bit and now it’s my go to Caesar dressing. Once you have a good salad dressing, the rest is simple. Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese and croutons complete the salad. So what has kept this salad so popular over the decades, it’s the dressing of course!
If you want to add chicken I suggest seasoning it with lemon pepper, but that’s just me. Bake it, grill it, pan fry it, however you want to fix it it will add protein to the salad and make a complete meal.
Slice and cube as many croutons as you need or will fit on a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle seasoning. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes, just until they are crisp and golden. I just made a small batch that would fit into a toaster oven.
Put your salad together with romaine lettuce, shaved or grated parmesan cheese, toasted croutons and as much or little Caesar dressing your like. You can keep it simple and stop right there or add chicken, avocado, tomatoes, or whatever you like.
Romaine Lettuce, roughly chopped or torn
Parmesan Cheese, shaved or grated
Caesar Dressing, recipe follows
Sliced Cooked Chicken, optional
Avocado Slices, optional
Caesar Dressing (adapted from Culinary Hill)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon Stone Ground Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Makes 1/2 pint jar. Keep refrigerated.
To put salad together, add romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese and croutons to a bowl. Ladle dressing over top and toss to coat. Add sliced chicken and avocado over top if desired.
To make homemade croutons, slice and cube french, sourdough or artisan bread. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle seasoning over top. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 -15 minutes, or until croutons are crisp and golden. I used a seasoning blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.