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My Grandfather’s Classic Caesar Salad

Caesar  Salad

My Grandfather is a pretty good cook. Actually giving it a bit more thought I will say he is a very VERY good cook. He has a few stand out dishes and this Caesar Salad is one of them. Always a treat, I can’t think of anyone in our family who doesn’t look forward to tucking into it.

Perhaps my favourite memory surrounding this dish is of my Grandmother who sadly passed away a few years ago. She was in charge of washing (and drying) the Romaine lettuce. With no salad spinner in sight the leaves were dried on separate bits of paper towel carefully spread around the kitchen. I loved helping her with that task. Although time consuming it was an important part of the ritual in making this incredibly delicious salad.

This is perfect on its own or as a tasty side with fillet steak and frites or a piece of grilled chicken.

My Grandfather’s Caesar Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients

1 large head of Romaine lettuce

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 strips of bacon cooked until crispy and then chopped or crushed finely

1/2 cup plain croutons

* * The ingredients below should be added in order to create the basic dressing * *

2 garlic cloves

1 anchovy fillet or 1 Tbsp of anchovy paste

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 egg yolks slightly beaten (If you prefer not to use raw eggs because of salmonella concerns then substitute about 2-3 Tbsp of plain Greek yoghurt which will give the dressing richness)

3 Tbsp “Maille A L’Ancienne” mustard (a Dijon type of mustard with seeds) This is a very important ingredient

Juice of 1/4 lemon

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 dash of Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes of Tabasco sauce

3 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese

Directions

Wash the Romaine lettuce and dry it thoroughly

Shred or chop it into bite sized pieces

Add the basic dressing ingredients together and toss the Romaine lettuce with it

Add the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and toss everything again

Just before serving add the chopped crispy bacon bits and croutons

Toss once more and serve immediately

Enjoy!

A Caesar Salad wouldn’t really be a Caesar Salad without croutons – so why not make your own. It’s a great way of using up stale bread and aside from putting them in salad they are also really yummy when added to soup (perhaps with a bit of Gruyere cheese on top)

Here is a quick simple recipe for making your own croutons

Luna Raye’s Quick And Easy Croutons

Ingredients

Approximately 4-6 slices of stale bread (fresh can also be used but stale is much better)

A good glug of olive oil

Seasonings are optional and can include; garlic, rosemary, thyme, chili flakes, lemon myrtle, salt, pepper, marjoram, sage etc etc – be creative and have fun

Directions

Cut the bread into nice bite sized chunks

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat

Don’t let it get too hot – after about 30 seconds add the bread chunks and give everything a good stir

You may need to add more more oil – I like to make sure the bread is well coated but not drenched – go with your kitchen witch instincts on this

Once the bread is nicely coated it’s time to add whatever spices or herbs you have chosen

Sprinkle them on top and give everything a good mix around

Keep an eye on the heat as you don’t want the bread to burn

When the croutons are nicely browned and a bit crisp remove them from the pan

Add to soups, salads or even munch them on their own as a snack

They will keep in an airtight container for about 2 days

4 Responses to “My Grandfather’s Classic Caesar Salad”

  1. renee says:

    My God this looks good. Caesar salad is one of the best things on the planet. And those croutons – amazing!

  2. carol says:

    I enjoyed the pictures and the text of this recipe so much. Thanks for the memories. I do believe that this Caesar Salad is even better then the one that was served at Ports of Call at Denarau Island!

  3. Luna says:

    Yes this dish always brings back lots of happy memories. The Caesar salad at Denarau was pretty special though….

  4. Luna says:

    Thank you so much! I absolutely agree – you can’t go wrong with a Caesar salad. The croutons are so simple to make and so much tastier then store bought ones. I really love adding them to soup too. I think I may have a crouton addiction….. :-)

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