Recipes

A truly classic Caesar salad recipe: Day 31

I am now a new fan of the Caesar salad! I don’t know about you, but I shied away from ordering Caesar salad at restaurants years ago. There were just too many sub-standard Caesars out there that I figured my palate and my wallet would be better served trying something completely different from the menu. Then I wouldn’t be disappointed expecting a mouthful of garlicky, cheesy Caesar salad goodness but being met with soggy, wilted leaves drenched in poorly disguised mayonnaise. So I was very excited to try out this recipe for Classic Caesar salad.

I am now a new fan of the Caesar salad! I don’t know about you, but I shied away from ordering Caesar salad at restaurants years ago. There were just too many sub-standard Caesars out there that I figured my palate and my wallet would be better served trying something completely different from the menu. Then I wouldn’t be disappointed expecting a mouthful of garlicky, cheesy Caesar salad goodness but being met with soggy, wilted leaves drenched in poorly disguised mayonnaise. So I was very excited to try out this recipe for Classic Caesar salad. Our nineteen-year-old sister-in-law/housemate/student was looking forward to trying it too. So while I set to work browning the bread for the croutons, she sat with our two-year-old while he drew the letter ‘C’ (for ‘Caesar’?) into a colouring book then scribbled over it and said ‘G’bye C’.   

Well hello ‘c’ for ‘croutons’! Who knew you were so easy to make? You’ll easily find me in the kitchen with a frying pan of butter warming cubes of bread with shed crusts not too far away—yup, I’ve got a hankering for croutons. I used whole wheat bread instead of white, so discerning whether or not the bread cubes were browning was probably more difficult than if I had followed the recipe verbatim. But I think I deserve extra points in the categories of ‘Creativity’ and ‘Level of Difficulty’, don’t you?   

Making the dressing was loads of fun. Our garlic press has been well used over the years but this was the first time it had been used to press anchovies. Umm, I didn’t even know that anchovy fillets were in Caesar salad dressing. Is that common knowledge to everyone else? But, like I said earlier, Caesar salads are something I don’t eat very often. When mixing the dressing I had an overwhelming urge to just slather it onto some toast. Garlic, anchovy paste, olive oil, lemon? When I whisked in the other ingredients (with my handy mini-whisk I purchased to make homemade cappuccino) I was watching the clock trying to calculate when my husband would be home so that we could actually eat this. My sister-in-law felt the same way. This might explain why we both had an overwhelming urge to just eat the dressing on toast.   

We had no choice but to wait for my husband as he had picked up the head of romaine lettuce, which was with him en route to our place. The toddler had noticed that the table was set to eat and so he was served a hodge-podge of leftovers (and, sigh, some cereal which he still insists on eating for dinner—at least he said ‘please’). But could we hungry women hold out for dinner until my husband made it home? Or would we, too, be drinking the milk from the bottom of our cereal bowls? 

Thankfully, my husband made it home in time for us to all enjoy dinner together. I washed the romaine lettuce, shred it quickly and threw it into the salad bowl followed by the other ingredients. We snapped a photo and then set down to eat our meal accompanied with a fresh looking Caesar salad. We all had second helpings of the salad and there were no leftovers for the next day. Nope, not even one shred of lettuce. I guess I’ll just have to make it again.