Another day, another meal we meant to make at the beach and then didn’t.
I love a good caesar salad. Not the healthiest salad ever, but it’s got to be a little healthier making everything from scratch… right?
After making my own dressing and croutons, it is really hard to go back to the store-bought stuff!
The only equipment I like to use for this that you may not have on hand is a mini food processor. I honestly don’t use it all that often, but it’s pretty inexpensive, and comes in handy for chopping nuts or making small servings of pesto or salad dressing, things of that nature. I have this tiny Cuisinart, and it has served me well.
Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
– 7 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed and roughly chopped
– 1 heaping tablespoon stone ground mustard (or dijon)
– 1 slightly overflowing teaspoon white vinegar
– 2 tablespoons Duke’s mayonnaise
– 1/2 cup good olive oil
– salt & pepper to taste
– lemon juice to taste
you can add minced anchovy fillets, if you’re brave
Combine the garlic, mustard, vinegar, mayo, and two pinches of kosher salt in a food processor and mix thoroughly. Add the olive oil, and mix thoroughly again. Taste the dressing, and then add salt, pepper, and lemon juice until it tastes just right to you, mixing after each addition. Feel free to adjust the other ingredients to your tastes. I realize that not everyone likes garlic as much as I do. #vampiresbeware
To make croutons, take some leftover crusty bread (like a leftover piece of Italian bread from when you made Baked Buffalo Shrimp). The more stale, the better! Cut the bread into large cubes, and toss them in a ziploc bag or a bowl with enough olive oil to coat and some salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 or 10 minutes, or until they reach a golden brown color.
Season up a few chicken tenders with some salt, pepper, ground garlic, ground mustard, and dried parsley. We like to cook tenders rather than breasts because they take so much less time, but cook whatever chicken cut suits your fancy. Or leave it out altogether. It’s your kitchen.
While the croutons are baking, have your resident grill master grill the chicken. If my grill master is unavailable, I like to cook my chicken tenders for about 10 minutes on a George Foreman grill (which I affectionately call my Georgie Porgie, thanks to my Mom) or a grill pan over the stove.
Wash and dry (I <3 my salad spinner) a couple heads of Romaine lettuce, and tear into bite size pieces leaf by leaf, or rough chop them, if you’re feeling all kinds of Master Chef.
To put it all together, fill up a plate or bowl with Romaine, top with chopped grilled chicken and fresh-out-the-over croutons, and top with your homemade fancy schmancy dressing! I recommend giving it one final whirl in the processor just before dressing your salads.
Definitely not the healthiest salad in the world, but definitely really, really tasty.
Leave out the chicken and this is a great side salad to have with another meal, but with chicken, it’s a great, pretty light-feeling summer meal.
It’s almost Friday, y’all! Oh… it’s only Wednesday? Happy Hump Day then!