Hola! Sweet summer time is here! School ended for me late last week and I am 3 days into my summer vacation. In the past few days I’ve already reunited with my college roomies over crabs and cocktails, celebrated Fathers Day, started a new book, and generally just basking in the fact I am no longer on a daily schedule.
My CSA is in full swing now and the produce is practically multiplying every week I go to the farm. I was eased into a few weeks ago, with just a few items. Today my bag was exploding with produce. Plenty of summer squash, kale, garlic scapes, lettuces and kirby cucumbers (I have a plan for those, so stay tuned for a future post). Tonight we turned to caesar salad.
I’m pretty famous for my caesar salad. It’s my go to dish for entertaining and it is requested often by family members and friends when I ask “what should I bring?” MAKE THE CAESAR SALAD! Now, it’s not my caesar salad..it’s actually Martha Stewart’s dish and she gets all the credit. The recipe comes from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, and when I take it out to make it I can usually find the page right away cause it has oil stains on it and smells faintly of garlic.
I pretty much stick to the recipe but may add an extra clove of garlic here and there or amp up the anchovies. Don’t fear the anchovies in the recipe, as they are ground up in tiny bits and give the salad that something something that makes it caesar dressing. Otherwise, it’s italian dressing. I do vary my technique from Martha in making the dressing. Martha makes it by hand, most likely in the wooden bowl she whittled herself. I run the ingredients through the food processor for a fool proof emulsion. Cause let’s face it, I’m clearly not Martha.
Classic Caesar Salad from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf rustic Italian bread, crusts removed,cut into 3/4 inch pieces (eight-to ten ounce)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves discarded,inner leaves washed and dried (10 ounce)
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese (or 2 1/2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler)
Let’s start with the croutons. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I buy a really good loaf of bread from Panera for this. If I’m going to make this salad and own the calories and fat that comes with it then I am going for really good bread. Don’t skimp out and cut up low carb bread and use oil spray to cut corners. Own the croutons. Today I used a sourdough loaf. I had my husband cut the crust off for me as I am a bit unsteady with a serrated knife and loppysided bread. He rewarded himself with the crusts slathered with butter as a pre-dinner snack. Once the crusts are cut, I cube the bread roughly and toss with the butter, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, on half teaspoon of pepper and the cayenne. Spread them evenly on a a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
Make the salad:
Place garlic, anchovy fillets, and salt in a food processor and give it a whirl. Chop those anchovies into oblivion.
Add in pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolk and mustard. Give it another whirl until everything is combined.
Now the important part of adding the olive oil. Make sure you are running the food processor as you are running the oil through the tube or the little holes on the top of a mini processor. This allows the oil to run slowly and emulsify to everything is blended together and the ingredients won’t separate.
Add the dressing to the bottom of a bowl. If you are using a wooden bowl like Martha uses, I would take a garlic clove and rub it all over the bowl before adding salad components, but tonight the wooden bowl was in the closet basement next to the roasting pan and electric skillet and didn’t feel like getting it. Put the lettuce on top of the dressing and add the cheese on top.
Start tossing the salad. Add in the croutons and toss again.
We topped with with some grilled chicken and dinner was done!