Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cesar Salad Dressing



I love cesar salads!  I found this recipe, right after Alex and I got married, in a cook book I got at a shower from Williams-Sonoma.  In the beginning of our marriage I always tried new things and about 50% of the time they came out awful.  I am sure Alex thought this was going to go the same way.  Neither of us had ever made anything with anchovies.  When we made the first batch we were amazed at how delicious it was!  It set the bar high for getting cesar salads at restaurants.  As a matter of fact, I rarely order them out anymore because it just isn't as good.



I made this last night for a dinner at my friend Diana's house.  She hosted a girls night. I signed up for salad and decided to make old faithful.  She made stuffed peppers and cheese risotto.  I do not like peppers, but I loved the stuffing!  The risotto was awesome too.

Anchovies can be found by the canned tuna at your local grocery store.  They are not fun to handle so I just throw them in a bowl and mash them up without thinking about them too much.

We used to make the homemade croutons, but don't anymore now that I am gluten free.  I will include how to do it though.  If you like croutons I would definitely make these.  They are great and easy.

Serve over romaine lettuce.

My good friend Lauren recently posted a yummy looking recipe for using cesar dressing on tilapia.  You can find it here.

I doubled this recipe for ~8 people.



Cesar Salad Dressing
Source:  Williams-Sonoma Simple American Cooking
Ingredients:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 good quality anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Ground pepper
Chop the garlic and combine with the 1/2 cup olive oil in a blender.  Puree until smooth.  In a small bowl, using a fork, mash the anchovies until they form a paste.  Add to the oil and garlic in the blender along with the mustard, lemon juice, and yogurt.  Blend at a high speed until a smooth emulsion forms.  Add 2 tbsp. of parmesan cheese and blend again.  Season with a little salt if needed.  The anchovies should provide enough.  Add a little pepper.  

Croutons
Ingredients:
  • 3 or 4 slices of french or italian bread ~ 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Remove the crusts from the bread slices and discard.  Cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes.  You should have approximately 2 cups.

In a large frying pan over low heat, warm the 3 tbsp. olive oil.  Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add the bread cubes and fry, stirring and tossing, until crisp and golden on all sides, 4-5 minutes.  Sprinkle the bread cubes with a little salt.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.  Set aside to cool. 

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