Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Caesar Salad Dressing

Last summer our church community group had a BBQ and swim party.  I was in charge of dessert, so I took Kimiko’s brownies.  They were a big hit, but they were not what Keanna was talking about on the way home.  No, she was talking about Stephanie’s Caesar salad with homemade dressing.  Since then, I have not bought another bottle of Caesar salad dressing!  (I think I still have an old one in the bowels of my fridge that I need to toss.)

Stephanie got the recipe from Christina, another woman at our church who is an amazing cook.  When I received the recipe from Stephanie, I had to try it right away.  To my dismay, there were a few ingredients I didn’t have at the time.  But I tried it anyway with some substitutions.  The results were still fantastic (Robbie actually prefers the altered version).  I’ll post both versions below.

Original recipe:  Dijon mustard.  My recipe:  yellow mustard.

One of the concerns about making homemade Caesar dressing is the fact that it generally calls for raw eggs.  This recipe is great because it starts with mayonnaise instead of eggs so you don’t have to worry about egg contamination.

The one ingredient that I never would have had on hand before is anchovy paste.  I buy it in a tube from WinCo for less than $3 per tube.  That works out to a lot per pound, but it will last a long time.  You can find it in the canned fish section, right near the tuna.  Now I always have a tube of it in the fridge so I can whip up a batch of dressing whenever necessary.

Though I do roast a lot of garlic, I don’t always have some in my fridge or freezer when I want to make this dressing.  And sometimes I need the dressing right away.  In that case, I simply use garlic powder.

When I do roast garlic, I roast more than I need and
freeze the extra in air-tight containers for future use.

Keep in mind that fresh-squeezed lemon juice is more potent and has better flavor than bottled.  However, bottled lemon juice is more consistent in its flavor.  Use whatever you have, but remember that the type and quality of lemon juice could affect the final outcome.

Costco has the cheapest lemon juice by far if you use a
lot of it.  It comes in two-packs for not very much.

The original recipe calls for Parmigiano-Reggiano.  This is definitely not in my food budget.  I simply use the dry powdered parmesan from the WinCo bulk bins, and the dressing still turns out great.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell Christina—she’d be horrified!!

The one thing I’ve learned is that the flavors mellow out and change as the dressing sits in the fridge.  Always taste and adjust before serving.

A classic Caesar salad would be romaine lettuce and croutons with Caesar salad dressing tossed in and possibly more parmesan cheese grated on top.  For a more substantial salad, try chicken Caesar salad.  You can also wrap it all up in a tortilla for chicken Caesar wraps.

Caesar Salad Dressing
1 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon (2-4 Tbsp.)
½ tsp. anchovy paste
½ c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in blender; blend until thoroughly mixed.

Sumiko’s Caesar Salad Dressing
1 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon (2-4 Tbsp.)
½ tsp. anchovy paste
½ c. grated parmesan cheese
1-1½ tsp. salt
Few dashes pepper

Place all ingredients in blender; blend until thoroughly mixed.



StaceyN said...

Mmm, that looks great. It is a little different from the recipe I use, and I would love to try something different, especially since I think mine is a little to mayonnaise-ish. I do not use anchovy paste in mine because I like to make up a big batch and leave it in the fridge for a while, and the anchovy flavor tends to get stronger and develop a bite over time, but I do like to chop up a few anchovies to throw in the salad. Also, we use fresh garlic because we like it really strong and hot, but I think I might try out your roasted garlic idea since my little one thinks Caesar salad is too spicy the way I make it. Thanks for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

I am definitely craving a cesar salad for lunch today! You should suggest this recipe or any others you may have to this list of Homemade Salad Dressing.

Anonymous said...

In this age of social media it would have been nice if you had the Pin It button or your social media icons to your Facebook or G+ pages.

Kimiko said...

If you look below the "Print Friendly" button, you will find buttons to post on various social media outlets, including Pinterest and Facebook.

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