Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mock Caesar Salad


I have been making the same Caesar salad dressing forever.
It's tried and true and why do I need another one in my repertoire?

Well, sometimes change is a good thing (so they tell me).

This recipe is from a book called Canal House Cooking. They have a really cool website.

It's a series of 4 seasonal books written and photographed by 2 talented NJ women.
Both of them food editors of Saveur magazine & Cooks Illustrated, so expect nothing less than spectacular photography.

They are not really cookbooks, more like look books. The recipes are just "ideas" and the measurements are approximate.
They only use produce and food of each season.

This is actually from the winter book, but who cares? Caesar salad is always in season, especially served with a side of grilled chicken!

They call it a "mock" Caesar because there is no egg (I use mayo instead of the egg in mine).

This was a wonderful version and we LOVED the crushed garlicky croutons on top.
What's not to love?

I bought this huge can of fantastic salt cured anchovies from Sicily, so I have anchovies for the rest of my life. These are so much better than the little generic variety. You rinse off the salt and remove the bone. They are meaty and actually taste like an anchovy! I used only 2 for the recipe, since they are bigger than the generic variety and add more flavor.

Mock Caesar Salad w/ Crushed Garlicky Croutons (adapted from Canal House Vol.3):

2 large hearts of Romaine lettuce
3-4 anchovies (I used 2 salt cured anchovy filets)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp Dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon
pinch of kosher salt
black pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (& more for grating on top)
garlic croutons, crushed (click here for no brainer recipe)

In a bowl, mash the anchovies with the salt, garlic and mustard with a fork to make a paste.
Add the lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil. Whisk in the 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Slice the Romaine hearts in half and lay on a platter.
Drizzle the dressing over the leaves and sprinkle with crushed garlic croutons.
Add more grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil over the salad.

This was a fantastic change.
Change is good.


Linda said...


Recipe for Delicious said...

I've always chickened out on making my own caesar dressing. This sounds like a good beginner recipe. I love the way you present the romaine!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Yes change is good, especially when it looks that delicious. Those books are really beautifully presented aren't they?

The Japanese Redneck said...

Their books sound wonderful. And that sounds exactly how I cook, approximation. I never hardly measure.

kat said...

You know I've never made my own caesar dressing, really need to change that

Maria said...

Great salad!

elra said...

I never made caesar salad, can you believe that? I am so left behind. After reading the ingredients listed here, I like this already. Thanks Stacey!

Pam said...

Yum - this salad looks amazing!

Proud Italian Cook said...

This my dear on a huge platter makes a beautiful presentation for a dinner party! I'm stealing this in a couple of weeks!

Dana said...

Beautiful presentation. I am catering this weekend and will be doing a Caesar with endive in endive spears. Really different and I hope it's good. I also hope it looks half as pretty (and appetizing) as this!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I'll have to check out the Canal House website. Thanks for the tip! I love the presentation of your Caesar salad - gorgeous!