This is the Caesar Salad recipe we served in our artisan pizzeria, PASSIONATE PIZZA. We tossed every salad to order. Health concerns dictated we use mayonnaise in the dressing. I still make my dressing the Passionate Pizza way. My clever and talented Toronto granddaughter Cait loves my Caesar Salads. (I’ve dressed my sewing dress form in one of our Passionate Pizza T Shirts.)
GARLICKY CAESAR SALAD … serves six
1/4 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise (it’s irreverent, but it works)
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, pecorino, or grana cheese (plus thin shavings of cheese for serving – optional)
2-3 anchovy fillets, drained, plus more fillets for garnishing if you wish
2 generous tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 – 3 garlic cloves, smashed
a good dash of Worcestershire sauce
a good dash of a Tabasco
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of capers
Freshly ground white pepper
One very large head of romaine or 3 chilled large hearts of romaine
Freshly ground black pepper and garlic croutons (recipe follows)
1. In a blender, combine the mayonnaise with the cheese, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce and Dijon Mustard. process until smooth. Season with white pepper.
2. In a large salad bowl toss the roughly chopped romaine with the dressing, capers, croutons and season with black pepper. Garnish with cheese shavings and anchovy fillets (if desired) and serve right away.
In our pizzeria we would bake enormous trays of garlic croutons. You could do the same but I prefer to saute the bread. Slice country-style bread in thick slices then roughly tear into large croutons. Pour a generous amount of olive oil into a large skillet, toss in a few crushed garlic cloves, and over a low heat let the garlic cloves brown and flavour the oil. Remove the garlic. Increase the heat under your pan then add your croutons. Brown quickly on one side, then turn them over and continue browning. It is this heady aroma of garlic and the rich olive oil flavoured croutons that make this an outstanding salad. The croutons taste best made fresh so indulge and nibble on any croutons left over.