Monday, July 9, 2012

Simple Caesar Salad

Property of The Entertaining House and The Entertaining Kitchen

I'm a salad girl. I love a good salad. They're filling and refreshing, require little prep work and not much required for cleanup either. In fact, in my opinion, the salad is as good as it gets. It's a well rounded, well balanced meal when you add beans, fish, chicken or meat for protein. It's not heavy or filling and nothing beats a summer supper the way salads do. Add a nice crispy baguette, and we are set to go!

I cooked dinner with a friend last night. We made grilled chicken Caesar salad. My friend grilled the chicken and I made the dressing. He was about to use dressing from a jar. Gasp! Can you imagine? I quickly intervened and explained that no Caesar dressing will ever taste as good as one made from scratch. I've tried many over the years and I have finally found one that's a winner every time! And, since I'm always watching my girlish figure these days, I look out for recipes that are not laden with too much fat or too many calories. This recipe calls for mayonnaise, which I prefer as I am leery of feeding my children raw eggs. Also, I use light mayo to lighten it up a tad.

I've adapted this recipe from I don't know where and while I've given proper measurements, as a rule I eyeball everything... last night I added more Worcestershire and some extra cheese... Tear off a few pieces or Romaine and taste as you go along... I'm not really a recipe follower... Recipes, like rules, need to be bent some times!

Caesar Dressing

3 cloves of garlic, minced - I prefer to mince mine by hand - I find too much of the good stuff gets left behind when you use a garlic press
1 tbs Dijon, heaping - of course
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce - or two!
1 tbs sherry or red wine vinegar -I'm heavy handed here too!
2 tbs mayo
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 Parmesan and more for sprinkling
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Some people like to puree their dressing. Not I! I love the texture that the cheese and the minced garlic give the dressing.

If you have a large jar like an empty mayonnaise or pickle jar use it. 
Into the jar place all your ingredients.
Shake well. Taste...

Wash and clean your Romaine lettuce, place in a large salad bowl and add the dressing. Mix well, taste. If more dressing or more pepper is needed add it now. Add croutons and or freshly grilled chicken or shrimp if desired...

Bon Apetit!