I’ve mentioned in the past that my son, William, is my biggest critic! Our food exchanges can be hilarious. Funny thing is, I always try harder when I know he’s coming over for dinner. This night Dad took dinner to him and this is what he felt about it…How do you improve on perfection? You can’t with a traditional caesar dressing-the parmesan, garlic, anchovies, worcestershire sauce, lemon and olive oil. It’s so easy to make and is simply delicious. Even if you do not like anchovies, you probably do if you’ve ever thoroughly enjoyed a freshly made caesar salad in a restaurant. So, I’ll show you how I make mine and toss it together with romaine, homemade croutons and parmesan crisps for the crowning touch.To save a little time, I make the parmesan crisps in advance and then I hide them from my husband. Truth be told, I make an extra one for myself because they are so stinking delicious! That’s our little secret though. I then make the croutons and I start out with fresh bread from the bakery. I find that it soaks up the garlic oil and crisps beautifully. So making the parmesan and croutons can both be done ahead of time and both are so easy to do! Now it’s time for the caesar dressing. I throw all the ingredients into the food processor and then…Arrange the greens on a beautiful serving platter and add sliced steak or salmon fillets and then sprinkle on some chopped anchovies. Crown the salad with the parmesan crisps and serve with grilled lemon halves. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisp
- Prep Time
- Cook Time
- 1 Large Salad
- Difficulty Level Easy
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- 1¼ cups freshly grated parmesan, save ½ cup for crisps
- 2-3 anchovy fillets (more for topping salad, if desired)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for croutons (1-2 teaspoons)
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Large head of romaine lettuce, washed and cut into bite size pieces
- 3 fresh slices of bread, such as Tuscan loaf
- salt and pepper for croutons
- steak, salmon or chicken (optional)
- grilled lemon halves for serving
- Begin by heating a nonstick pan to medium-medium high heat. When the pan is hot place ¼ cup of grated parmesan in the middle and spread to a thin, round layer. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese is just starting to brown uniformly. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly-it should be able to keep its shape before removing crisp with a spatula to plate or cooling rack. Repeat process for second crisp.
- For the croutons: Cube bread into bite size pieces. In same pan used to make parmesan crisps, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 clove crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Heat the oil until garlic is perfumed, then add bread cubes and toss to coat. Pan fry until golden and crispy adding more oil if necessary.
- For the caesar dressing: In a food processor, toss in the remaining ¾ cup parmesan cheese, 2-3 anchovies, remaining garlic, worcestershire sauce, dijon, lemon juice and pepper. Turn on the processor and drizzle in the olive oil. Continue until mixture is emulsified.
- Toss together the romaine, croutons and dressing and arrange on serving dish. Top with the parmesan crisps and add protein of your choice if desired. Serve with grilled lemon halves. Enjoy!