Both of my parents were educators and very fortunately had their summers off. So every summer we would fly south to visit our aunt, uncle and cousins in Florida. I don’t remember how long we stayed (things always seem longer when you’re a kid) but it felt like months. It was probably only several weeks, but those memories go on and on. My aunt would always get Munchkins for us to eat on our first morning there – this I remember vividly because we never had Munchkins at home. And on at least one night during our visits, she would make her Classic Caesar Salad. I have memories of her standing at the kitchen counter over a huge bowl of lettuce, holding a salad tong in each hand, just tossing away. She said she got her Caesar dressing recipe from the chef at a Four Seasons Hotel that they had stayed at while traveling in Europe.
When I was old enough, she taught me how to make it. It’s really easy, and it’s really – really – good. It’s the only Caesar dressing you’ll ever need. All I’ve changed is replacing storebought croutons with homemade sourdough ones. Don’t be grossed out by the anchovies. You can’t actually taste them in the dressing, and they add an amazing umami flavor that shouldn’t be missed. A can of anchovies usually has about twelve. This Classic Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons recipe only calls for four. You can lay a few on top of each salad for garnish if you’re so inclined, or toss the extra. Personally, I like to double or triple the recipe to have the dressing on hand in the fridge.
And the sourdough croutons are quiet simply the bomb. It’s tough to not pop them like potato chips and have enough left for the actual salad! Always be sure to toss the croutons together with the dressing so they can sop up some of the deliciousness.
This Classic Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons is best served alongside pasta dishes like my Baked Ziti with Tomato Gravy & Turkey Sausage, or as an entree salad I absolutely love topping it with blackened salmon. Enjoy!
For the Dressing
- 3 hearts of romaine lettuce, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup EVOO
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
For the Sourdough Croutons
- 5 cups of sourdough bread cubes
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place bread cubes in a mixing bowl. Add oil, salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Spread bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, mash anchovy fillets with a fork. Add all other ingredients except for the oil and Parmesan cheese. Whisk together. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the oil into the mixture until combined. Whisk in the Parmesan.
Remove the croutons from the oven and allow to cool completely. Toss the lettuce, dressing and croutons together in a large bowl. Serve with additional Parmesan sprinkled over top.