I know. You’re probably thinking to yourself right now, “Caesar salad? What’s so special about a Caesar salad?” *yawn*
I would tend to agree with you 8 times out of 10. But I’m a firm believer in a good Caesar salad. Because when you have a really good Caesar salad (which I’ve learned are hard to come by) there’s truly nothing better. And I’m here to tell you, my mama taught me well. She taught me how to make, hands down, the perfect Caesar salad.
What makes this Caesar so special? Just a few game-changing ingredients:
- A whole lotta freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Homemade croutons
- Finishing salt and pepper
If you’re still buying the Parmesean pre-grated out of a tub in the grocery store, you’re doing it all wrong. Parmigiano-Reggiano is one of those ingredients I can’t live without. Imported straight from Italy, it’s Parmesan like you’ve never tasted it before. Sharp, salty and nutty, it’s the perfect compliment to my infamous Caesar salad.
Now let’s also talk about the croutons. Croutons are hard to be bad. Let’s face it, they’re buttery, crunchy delicious excuses to eat bread on a “salad” no matter where they’re coming from. But if you’ve never tried making homemade croutons, I highly suggest you do. So simple, quick and the difference between an OK Caesar and an amazing one.
Finally, the cherry on top is a sprinkling of fine sea salt. Nowadays you can find just about any variety you can imagine of fine salts at your local grocery store. And for roughly the same price as your ordinary table salt. Sprinkling it on just about anything, especially a Caesar salad, is the easiest way to awaken the flavors of your dish.
Once you perfect, what I call, the perfect formula for a Caesar salad like I have, trust me, this will grace your dinner table on the reg.
Warning: this is one of those recipes I’ve been making for years and know like the back of my hand. Amounts are an estimate. It’s really just a throw-it-all-in-and-add-ingredients-to-your-liking kind of recipe. Enjoy!
CAESAR SALAD WITH HOMEMADE CROUTONS
- 3 heads of romaine chopped
- About 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- About 1/4 cup Caesar dressing – I use Cardini’s and swear by it
- 1/2 loaf of day-old french bread, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Finishing salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread bread cubes in an even layer over a sheet pan. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crispy, tossing frequently. Remove from oven and sprinkle with finishing salt and toss to coat while still hot.
Place romaine in a large bowl. Grate half of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top of romaine, followed by croutons and dressing. Toss to coat. Finish with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, finishing salt and pepper. Serve with anything and everything.