Was ‘Caesar salad’ invented by or named after Julius Caesar? Or did it originate from the Italian owner’s of Caesar’s restaurant in Tijuana?
Whatever the true origin, the original recipe included romaine, garlic, croutons, and parmesan cheese, boiled eggs, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. This caesar salad dressing recipe is a little different, and frankly my favorite, concocted by my great Aunt Ilse and passed along through the family over the years.
The caesar salad you love so much at restaurants is surprisingly easy and quick to make at home. Just toss the dressing with a head of romaine lettuce and top with fresh grated or shaved parmesan. I often make this salad served with homemade croutons as well, actually almost always. But I also love it served with romaine lettuce and radicchio topped with blackened cajun chicken. Yum!
Opting for fresh croutons? No slighty stale bread on hand? No problem. It’s not 100% necessary. I more often than not use my favorite rustic loaf of German bread fresh from the baker for my croutons.
All you need to do is prep the bread by cutting it into bite size cubes, place the cubes on a baking tray, season them, bake and then let them cool. Baking croutons, rather than sautéing them in a skillet, which I mostly do, gives you the option to make lots. Just store the extra portions in an air tight container and use over the coming days.
I take an extra step creating my croutons from fresh bread. I partially dry them out in the oven and then season and sauté them in a skillet. This way I get a crispy outer crouton that is still a little chewy and springy on the inside. Just preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Depending on the size of the croutons, bake in a single layer for 3-5 minutes, toss and bake for another few minutes. If I am using slightly stale bread, I skip the oven step and go straight to the skillet. Using a large skillet, sauté the cubes with some olive oil, minced garlic, dried herbs, such as thyme, oregano or an Italian mix and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté, stirring often, until golden brown. So easy and they add so much to a salad, or soup for that matter.
Aunt Ilse's Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard (alternatively grainy dijon mustard can be used)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
- 1 raw egg
Add ingredients into a jar, close, and shake to mix.
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