Caesar Salad - with homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
Recipe video above. This homemade Caesar Salad Dressing recipe will rival that of any great restaurant! Anchovy is key to proper flavour in the dressing - every self respecting restaurant uses it, so if you've had Caesar Salad out and loved it, you've eaten anchovies!Add chicken to make a meal, or serve it straight up the classic way.
Course: Dinner, Salad
Cuisine: South Western
Keyword: Caesar Salad, Caesar salad dressing, chicken caesar salad
Servings: 5- 6 as a side (2 - 3 as meal with chicken)
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
1cupmayonnaise(Hellman's or S&W Whole Egg) (Note 1)
1/2tspgarlic, finely minced (use garlic press, if you can)
2anchovy fillets or 3/4 tsp Anchovy paste (Note 2)
2tbspfresh lemon juice
1/2cupfreshly grated parmesan cheese, or 1/3 cup store bought grated parmesan cheese (Note 3)
2 - 4eggs, cooked to your taste, peeled and halved
500g / 1lbchicken breast fillets (2 pieces)
1/2tsp EACH salt and pepper
Whizz all ingredients in food processor until smooth, starting with 3 tbsp milk.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired, and use milk to get the dressing to the desired consistency. (Note 6)
Set aside for 20 minutes+ to allow flavours to develop.
Place bacon into a cold skillet (no oil), then turn onto medium high. Cook until golden, turn, cook other side until golden. Remove onto paper towels, cool, then chop.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Toast bread in the toaster for 1 minute (or oven for 2 minutes each side) until surface is dried but not browned.,
Rub both sides of each piece of bread with the cut side of the garlic (Note 7).
Remove crust from bread (optional) and cut into cubes - around 1.5 cups. Drizzle with 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then bake until golden, shaking the tray once. Sandwich bread will take around 7 minutes, sourdough and similar breads take 12 - 15 min.
Place lettuce in bowl with 1/2 the Dressing. Toss well, taste, then decide if you want more Dressing.
Transfer to serving bowl. (Top with chicken and egg if using) Scatter over with bacon and croutons. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve!
OPTIONAL EXTRAS - Chicken & Egg
Eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Place over medium high heat and bring to simmer. Once the water is simmering, turn down to medium (gentle simmer) and cook for 3 min (for soft centres), 4 min for firm yolks and 6 min for hard boiled. Remove eggs, run under cold water for 15 sec then leave submerged in a bowl of cold tap water for 5 min. Peel then set aside. (Note 6)
Chicken: Either pound the chicken to about 1.2cm/ 1/2" even thickness, or slice each breast in half horizontally. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Use bacon fat remaining in skillet. Cook first side for 5 min, turn then cook the other side for 2 min. Remove, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 min. Cut into slices.
1. Mayonnaise - the better the mayo, the better than dressing. I like Hellman's Real Mayonnaise and S&W Whole Egg Mayonnaise - these are creamier and have a smoother, richer flavour than others that can be too vinegary or too sweet.No Mayo version - sub with Greek Yogurt, add a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Really! Full recipe here.2. Anchovy fillets are key to achieve a true restaurant quality flavour. You can't taste it, but it's the seasoning for the sauce so if you skip it, you'll need to add more salt. Use the dark brown anchovy fillets in oil that come in a jar or can in the canned fish aisle of supermarkets, not the white anchovy fillets that are brined in vinegar, not oil, that are typically sold at delis, not prepackaged (served on antipasto platters).Substitutes:
Best / just as good - 3/4 tsp anchovy paste
Next best - 1 tsp of fish sauce (yes really
OK - extra 1/4 cup parmesan plus pinch of salt
3. Parmesan - Store bought pre-grated parmesan is denser than freshly grated which is why you don't need as much. It won't whizz up as smoothly either, but personally it doesn't bother me.4. Croutons - you want enough bread to make 1.5 cups croutons (on the generous side, but no one wants to run out!). Use plain, normal sandwich bread or make your own - use this dead easy Artisan Bread or if you're out of yeast, this No Yeast Sandwich Bread.5. Lettuce - iceberg is also great. Make sure you wash lettuce well in advance to let it dry properly. Dressing won't coat wet lettuce so make sure it's dried! I usually chop, wash then dry using a spinner.Chop into whatever size suits you for eating. I use small cos lettuce and just chop 2 cm / 2/3" strips. For large ones, peel leaves off, stack and chop.6. Dressing - Don't thin the dressing too much, otherwise it won't cling to the lettuce. You can whizz it up in a blender or use a stick blender too!7. Croutons - The purpose of this step is to add garlic flavour to the croutons. I prefer not to toss the croutons in minced garlic because the garlic burns before the croutons turn golden.8. Storage - After tossing in Dressing, salad is good for around 20 minutes (longer than the usual leafy salads), then after that the lettuce starts getting soft. Best to dress just before serving - if taking somewhere, take all components separately.Dressing will keep 3 to 4 days - seems to get better with time!8. Nutrition per serving assuming 5 servings as a side dish (no egg or chicken) with 2/3 of the Dressing used (which I think is enough, but because Caesar Salad Dressing is so good, I always like to make a bit more just in case).