Friday, July 10, 2015

My Favorite Caesar Dressing + Crouton Bonus

I've been making my own salad dressing for a while now. Occasionally I will buy a bottle or two - for ease - but I usually end up throwing them out long after their expiration date. It's just as easy, and so much yummier, to whip up a little batch of dressing each time you make a salad.

This salad, in particular, is super simple, fast, and requires few ingredients. Perfect.

Even though I'm usually not great at photo-documenting my recipes, for whatever reason (back in Dec. 2014) I took a lot o' pics of this one. Probably because I really, really like this dressing.

Quick and Easy Caesar Dressing

 1/4 cup mayo

 Juice of 1 lemon

 (Always a good idea to strain those pesky seeds out)

 1 garlic clove

Peeled, crushed, and chopped fine (or you can put in through a garlic press. I went about 2 years without one, so had to crush and chop. Good news: I now have a garlic press once again).

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.  (Yes, Kraft Parmesan. I've used freshly grated also, but if you're looking for easy, Kraft comes in supa handy AND still tastes delish.)

Mix it all together and add some freshly ground black pepper. I like quite a bit, but you can adjust to your personal preference.

Note: If you are a stickler for a more authentic Caesar, you can add 2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped, or a squeeze of anchovy paste.

Chop up your romaine,

then add the dressing to the lettuce and toss.

You can add more black pepper, if desired.

For whatever reason, while I was carefully documenting this recipe, I neglected to snap a pic of the finished salad with croutons tossed in. You can visualize it, right?...

Consolidated recipe:
Quick and Easy Caesar Dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (or pressed)
2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped (optional - and use the blender method of mixing)

Whisk ingredients together and pour over salad. For a smooth dressing, mix ingredients in a blender.

I love homemade croutons, too. If you're looking for supa {crazy} easy, just use the kind you get at Costco. Homemade, however, are way more amazing, easy to customize, and really simple.

Homemade Croutons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut into cubes: French bread, French baguette, Italian bread, Sourdough bread, or plain ol' white bread (day-old preferred, but not necessary).

Drizzle with olive oil (or canola oil... or melted butter...), and toss.

Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper, toss again.

Other customizable additions: red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, dried herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary), garlic powder.

Spread cubes evenly on a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes. Toss once or twice during baking.

These croutons are good enough to snack on, and perfect for a Caesar salad.

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