Thursday, June 5, 2014

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing and Salad

The family and I have been doing a lot of camping this spring.  We are trying to get out and beat the heat.  Maryland summers are hot and humid and the bugs are everywhere.  Ticks and mosquitos, oh my.

Spring and Fall are fabulous times of the year to explore new trails, hike to the falls, ride our bikes and take picnics in the park.

A few months ago I was asked to write up an article for Capital Style Magazine and share some lunch ideas with our readers.  I picked two things:  a salad and a soup.  This is my favorite salad.

I have ordered a chicken caesar salad more than any other salad on the menu.  I love the tangy dressing, crisp salad leaves, grilled chicken and ripeness of parmesan cheese.

In my mind it is the perfect combination.  I went to work on a recipe for the dressing.  I know that there are lots of them out there to be copied and tried but I enjoy the challenge of coming up with my own.  My own flavor profile.  I guess in someways I like the challenge, and sometimes failure, that recipe developing gives to me.

I was specifically trying to not use raw eggs.  I felt that I could get the same great flavor and texture by trying to use other ingredients.  I have nothing against raw eggs and love all types of caesar dressings. I had my kids in mind because they also enjoy this salad.

I have made this dressing several times in a variety of ways.  It turns out a bit different depending on if you hand mix the dressing or use a high power blender, like a Vitamix.  Personally, I like the hand mixed method best because you cans see the ingredients broken down into small pieces vs. having the dressing blended smooth.  Either way they both taste great.

A note about anchovies.  I was the biggest scaredy-cat when it came to using these salty little fishy-poohs.  I avoided them like the plague in my other attempts at this dressing and you just can't get the "real" flavor without them.  The recipe calls for 3-5.  If you are hesitant, use a couple, blend, taste, and add more if it needs it.  The flavor does develop as it sits in the refrigerator.  Five anchovies will grow hair on your chest--JUST KIDDING--but,  it is a very strong addition to the salad dressing.

I found these adorable lunch boxes for salads and soups at Target.  I tell ya, school lunch boxes have come a long way since I was a kid...LOL

I bought way too many for the photoshoot but now I have an assortment of fun lunch boxes for us to take camping and hiking this spring and next fall.


Caesar Salad

1 chicken breast, cooked
2 cups of romaine heart lettuce, chopped
Fresh parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup croutons  I make my own gluten free croutons at home
2 tablespoons Caesar salad dressing (see below)

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

Makes 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3-5 anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
Black pepper to taste

1.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a high power blender. Or you can use a medium bowl and a whisk.  The dressing is not smooth but just as delicious.  See my comments above.

2.  Blend until smooth. 

3.  Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Written by Sherron Watson

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this - Caesar is one of my faves and the dressing from the bottle is never quite as good....


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