Monday, February 8, 2010

To Caesar With Love

It’s February. The month of hearts and cupids and valentines and making your husband happy happy happy.

So, being the fab wifey that I am, I let The Husband pick the menu on Saturday.

Of course, the first words out of his mouth were, “Caesar Salad.”

That husband is SO fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants crazy in his decisions and requests.


Basically, whenever Mark gets control of the menu, Caesar Salad is on it. If Crème Brulee wasn’t already selected for dessert courtesy of moi, he would have asked for Chocolate Chip Cookies or Chocolate Chip Cake or Key Lime Pie. And, of course the main dish involved pork because as John Travolta says, “Bacon tastes good; pork chops taste good.” And The Husband totally digs on swine, man.

One day, Mark will totally shock me with his dinner requests. One day.

But until then, I will give him his predictable standby of Caesar Salad because he loves it and well, that’s all that matters.

The key to successful Caesar Salad is to cut up your romaine in bite-size portions. And, I tend to use the hearts more than the outer, tough leaves. The hearts are the light, pale green while the outer leaves are dark green. In addition, make sure your romaine is nicely chilled and dried really well. I usually wash it, chop it, place in a bowl packed with paper towels and pop it in the fridge a few hours earlier. Then, I pull it out a half-hour before serving. Dress it up, toss with parmesan and croutons.

And, voila:

Suzie’s Caesar Salad
(Makes 4 to 6 servings as an appetizer)

2 to 3 hearts of romaine, chopped, washed and dried with paper towels, chilled in a salad bowl
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, plus more for dressing the salad
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
3 anchovy fillets
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 hard-boiled egg yolk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup or more of your favorite croutons

To make dressing:

Place garlic cloves in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse to chop. Add anchovies, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Process for a minute. Add egg yolk, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper and olive oil. Process for a minute.

When ready to serve:

Remove romaine from refrigerator a half-hour before serving.

Toss dressing with romaine. Add a splash of red wine vinegar. Add Parmesan cheese. Toss again. Top with croutons, if desired.

Please note: The dressing can be made ahead a day or two as well and refrigerated until ready to use.


  1. I've never made caesar dressing from scratch. I need to do this, right? Thx for the recipe :-)