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Basil Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

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Mikey’s favorite type of salad is Caesar salad, and since I have always wanted to try making my own Caesar dressing (with the raw egg and all!), I felt it was the perfect accompaniment to our Valentine’s dinner!

This salad was surprising simple to make. The dressing comes together in flash because all you really do is whir all the ingredients in a food processor.

I loved the addition of the herbs in the dressing because it made the salad quite fresh and not as “heavy” as a lot of typical Caesar salads can be. It was SUCH a nice contrast to the rich, juicy, steaks.

I think the salads exceeded Mikey’s expectations, and certainly my own! Also, the croutons were sooooo yummy! There is just nothing like homemade croutons; the stuff in the box you get from the grocery store just doesn’t even come close.

I think that this salad would also make a delicious main course with the addition of some grilled shrimp or chicken!

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Basil Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Ingredients:

for the croutons:

  • 10-inch piece of baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2-1 tsp garlic powder, depending on your taste
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked pepper

for the salad:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large egg
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp anchovy paste
  • 1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb romaine heart, washed and cut into fourths
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions:

for the croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper, and garlic powder. Spread the seasoned cubes out on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, tossing every 4 or 5 minutes.

for the salad:

  1. With the motor running, drop garlic clove into food processor and finely chop. Add in the egg, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and 1/2 tsp pepper and pulse until combined. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil and blend until emulsified. Add in the herbs and blend until the herbs are finely chopped and the dressing is a beautiful green.
  2. Toss the romaine with the dressing, croutons, and half of the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and serve!

recipe slightly adapted from here

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One Response to “Basil Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons”

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