Caesar Salad

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Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad is my family’s favorite salad. My kids love the crunch of romaine lettuce and sharp bits of Parmesan cheese. I love how I can blend a variety of nutritious ingredients into one delicious dressing.

Caesar salad is typically a salad of romaine lettuce, croutons (though I don’t always add those), dressed with Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, oil, and egg. Caesar Cardini is attributed for creating the dish in the 1920’s to cover for his kitchen’s depleting supplies after a Fourth of July rush in his restaurant (Wikipedia).

The original recipe did not contain anchovies (the original flavor was from Worcestershire sauce) – though I can’t imagine not using this tasty and nutritious ingredient. Anchovies are rich in Omega-3’s (anti-inflammatory effects), protein, essential vitamins like E and D and niacin, and minerals like calcium and selenium.

It may be hard to get a kid to eat an anchovy (or adults for that matter) but blending it into the dressing adds a salty flavor complexity you cannot achieve otherwise. I like to buy them in little glass jars, but they also come canned and as pastes.

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Caesar Salad
For a dairy-free option omit the cream and Parmesan cheese for an anchovy dressing that is just as delicious. Croutons are optional and can be made with any kind of bread though I prefer sourdough.

Dressing
Yield: 1 1/4 cup
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 egg yolk from farm fresh pastured eggs
1-2 tablespoons chopped anchovies
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste for serving
1/4 cup raw cream, or organic cream – not ultra-pasteurized (optional)

Salad and Croutons (if using)
about 3 cups sourdough, sprouted, or gluten-free bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc)
1-2 heads organic romaine lettuce – washed and cut
freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare dressing; blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor – or my favorite way – place all ingredients in a wide mouth glass canning jar and blend with an immersion blender (this way you can reserve extra in the fridge and there’s less cleanup).
2. Prepare croutons: heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, herbs, and bread cubes to the skillet and sautee until fragrant and toasted. Alternatively, toss crouton ingredients until well mixed and bake in a 325f oven or toaster oven until toasted.
3. Compile salad: place romaine leaves in a large salad bowl. Pour in dressing and extra Parmesan cheese and toss. Add freshly ground black pepper and croutons and toss again.

This post is linked to The Healthy Home Economist | Monday Mania.

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