Everyone who tastes this says the same thing – “this is a great Caesar salad!!” I love a Caesar salad that has plenty of Parmesan and a hint of fresh lemon juice. A little garlic and anchovies to give it tang but not so much that you reek of garlic or are really even aware of an anchovy flavor.
Caesar salad recipes abound and involve the tweaking of the basic dressing ingredients – garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and oil. Classic Caesar salad also uses a raw egg to bind the ingredients together. Raw eggs have salmonella issues and I’m not really comfortable dumping a potential health hazard on top of a salad. Mayonnaise is sometimes used as a raw egg substitute. But hiding subtle flavors behind a mayo mask isn’t too successful. This recipe solves the problem and binds everything together by adding a touch of mustard and then very slowly whisking in the oil as the last step.
And then, of course, there are the croutons. Can you call it a Caesar salad, no matter how great the dressing, if it doesn’t have croutons? How do you make a low carb, gluten free crouton? Bread is out of course. I was pondering the low carb crouton question when I came across a bunch of recipes for roasted chickpeas. Crunchy, salty, spiced chickpeas make fabulous croutons. They’re so delicious that when my son Oliver tasted them he said “hey, I’d eat these all the time – just as a snack.”
This Caesar dressing keeps well in the fridge for two weeks. I usually double or triple the recipe. Just by the way, tripling the recipe uses the entire can of anchovies so that you don’t have that little oily plastic wrapped package of leftover anchovies sitting in the refrigerator, eventually to get thrown out.
- 4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 large heads of Romaine lettuce, washed and torn or cut into pieces
- roasted chickpea croutons
- Whisk anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard in a medium bowl. Very gradually add the olive oil, while whisking constantly. Adding the oil slowly will ensure that the dressing emulsifies. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- Toss lettuce with dressing in bowl. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and top with roasted chickpea croutons. Season to taste with ground pepper.
- Ahead of time note: dressing may be made 1 day ahead. It will keep covered and refrigerated for two weeks.