Caesar salad with roasted garlic croutons is serious business. Scratch cooking. This is not your run-of-the-mill toss it on the table salad.
This is an undertaking. A commitment. But the results speak for themselves.
This is a gutsy salad. Lots of big flavours. The dressing is assertive. The croutons are tossed in butter and roasted garlic. A big sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano. This is not the salad you get chain restaurants.
Old school Caesar salad with homemade dressing
The dressing is old school. There’s a raw egg yolk. Don’t be scared. There’s nothing to fear. Coddle the egg and there’s no risk. It’s easy. Coddling is simply dropping an egg into boiling water for exactly one minute. Kills everything bad. Leaves the yolk raw.
There’s anchovy paste in this dressing as well. It’s not the tastiest stuff straight from the tube but a Caesar salad is not a Caesar salad without anchovy.
That’s not my opinion. That just is. It can be a great salad. But it’s like sparkling wine made outside of champagne. You just aren’t allowed to call it Caesar salad.
Homemade croutons put any Caesar salad over the top
Homemade Caesar salad dressing is only half the story. The croutons are the real star. Sounds crazy. I know. But it’s amazing what a difference they make.
Real garlic. Butter. Fresh herbs. And good bread. That’s all you need. But wow. You won’t believe how good homemade croutons can be. Crunchy on the outside. A little chewy on the inside. So good. Try it before you scoff. You will impress yourself.
Caesar salad with roasted garlic croutons is not your every day Caesar salad. It’s more work. But if you really want to show off. Really want to impress. Then this is the one.
caesar salad with roasted garlic croutons
- 1 coddled egg yolk - see instructions
- 1 tsp anchovy paste (optional) leave it out for vegetarian
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or very finely minced
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- a couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
- a couple drops of tabasco
- 2 Tbsp parmigiano reggiano grated on a microplane grater
- a few grinds of fresh black pepper
- 2 cups day old sourdough bread cut in 1 inch cubes
- 6-7 cloves roasted garlic - see notes
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce outer leaves discarded
- parmigiano reggiano grated - to taste
- Coddle the egg. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the egg in its shell for exactly one minute. Separate the yolk, discarding the white.
- Combine the coddled egg, mustard, anchovy paste, mustard, garlic, red wine vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl, stirring or whisking constantly. You are making an emulsion. You want the oil and egg mixture to combine.
- After adding all the olive and vegetable oil, mix in the worcestershire, tabasco, parmegiano and black pepper.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F. In a small bowl, work the butter and roasted garlic together.
- Melt the butter, garlic mixture in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the thyme and then the bread cubes.
- Toss the bread cubes in the melted butter and continue to cook until the bread starts to brown slightly.
- Transfer to an over proof cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to over-brown. Sprinkle with a bit of parmigiano if desired.
- Toss the salad in enough dressing to coat. You will have extra dressing left over.
- Mix in 2/3 of the croutons and divide the salad on 4 plates. Distribute the remaining croutons.
- Sprinkle with grated parmegiano reggiano to taste and serve.