The best Caesar salad salad means: fresh crisp romaine, topped with homemade croutons, Parmesan shavings and a creamy Caesar dressing (minus the anchovies)!
It’s no secret that I love garlic.
Luckily I’m not one of those people who eat garlic and then goes on to sweat it out of their pores for the next week. Unless I am and I don’t know it? I mean, these days I’m only around my kids and well, they haven’t said anything. Uh-um I think I would know, right? Suddenly I’m feeling a little self conscious.
Really though, is there such thing as too much garlic? I’m going to have to say ah-no. Overly-garlic garlic bread doesn’t exist. Too much garlic in spaghetti sauce… no.such.thing. So of course when I found a giant clove of garlic attached to the bulb I was riddled with excitement and an “oh-heck-yes” tore from my mouth. I swear it you guys this thing was as big as my palm, but you’ll see in a few scrolls of the mouse.
The only thing I like more than garlic… is bread. So you’re probably not shocked that I love a salad that consists of lettuce, toasted bread cubes topped shavings of Parmesan and smothered in a garlicky Caesar dressing. I mean FOR REAL!
This isn’t called the best Caesar salad for nothing.
I’ve made a creamy Caesar dressing a few years ago (and put it on a BLT club sandwich – whaaat?!). It was a classic version that calls for anchovies. Wouldn’t you know my family would NOT eat it once they found out I made it with anchovies. So since I was making spaghetti to go along with my Caesar salad, I wanted to make a Caesar dressing without anchovies. Worcestershire sauce is a great way to substitute that anchovieness… probably because it’s made from anchovies, but whatever… just don’t tell my family.
I stopped into Kroger just to pick up some strawberries and there was this bin FILLED with purple-veined garlic. Even though I just bought a sleeve of garlic bulbs the other day, I couldn’t ignore PURPLE VEINED GARLIC? I had to have it. I’m ridiculous.
I mean look at this sucker. It’s probably equivalent to two maybe three garlic cloves.
Throw 1 to 2 garlic cloves (or more for a super garlicky dressing) into a small food processor and pulse until minced.
Add in a cup of mayo. Homemade or store bought, it’s all up to you.
Throw in a half teaspoon of ground mustard…
1 HEAPING teaspoon of grainy Dijon.
Two tablespoons of red wine vinegar…
Right on into the processor…
Two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.
And about a half cup of freshly grated Parmesan. You know it’s legit parm with it has that rind.
Throw that right on in with everything else.
Secure the lid, turn that baby on and slowly drizzle in the 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Season with a 1/4 teaspoon of coarse black pepper and process again until smooth, scrape down the sides so you don’t miss out on any extra garlic. 😉
The Parmesan, in my opinion, adds the perfect amount of saltiness… but feel free to add salt if you think it needs it.
I may or may not dip my french fries in Caesar dressing.
Secure a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.
So I’m obsessed with the bread. It’s made in Traverse City, Michigan so unless you’re from the mitten… you are out of luck! It’s worth the six dollars a loaf because there’s no doubt I won’t find a good way to use up every single slice and crumb. Like croutons.
This is a seven grain loaf, so it adds good chewy texture and well 7 grains means its super healthy, right? Grab about five or six slices of your favorite bread.
Cut in half…
Then cube into bread, um, cubes.
Pre cubes of toasty goodness.
Throw them onto a rimmed sheet pan.
Drizzle them with a good amount of olive oil. Don’t be shy, load’em up.
Toss and season with pinches of kosher salt and black pepper. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until golden, crispy and perfect.
Rinse a head of romaine under the faucet.
Pat dry with paper towel. Give it a good, rough chop and throw it into your largest, most favorite bowl in the whole universe.
Top it with all those yummy toasty croutons.
And then top it with copious amounts of Parmesan cheese shavings.
So totally unassuming.
But the best Caesar salad is so totally awesome.
Truthfully this salad is all about the dressing.
And the healthy croutons.
Enjoy! And if you give this recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!
Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or store bought
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 heaping teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus two tablespoons, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, plus two pinches, divided
- 6 slices crusty bread, cut into cubes
- kosher salt
- 1 large head romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shavings, more or less
- In a small food processor, pulse the garlic until minced.
- Add in the mayo, ground mustard, Dijon, vinegar, Worcestershire and Parmesan. Secure the lid and slowly pour in the olive oil. Season with a 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and pulse until combined. Pour in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the bread into cubes, place on a rimmed sheet pan and toss with olive oil, two pinches of kosher salt and black pepper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove and let cool.
- Wash, dry and chop the romaine. Place the lettuce into a large bowl and top with the cooled croutons and Parmesan shavings.
- Plate and serve with the homemade Caesar dressing and more black pepper if desired.
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THANK YOU in advance for your support!
I am a bit of a garlic addict as well. I am sure I smell of it most of the time. In a good way though. At least I think so 😉 This dressing looks so good. Can’t wait to try it. Pinned!
Thanks Katie! Garlic lovers unite! 😉
Love this! And the croutons look amazing!
Laurie, can the dressing keep in the frig for a month? That’s if it lasts that long without being raided. Thanks. Carl
Hi Carl! It really depends on if you make your own mayo or not. If you do make your own mayo, I’d give it a week- tops. But store bought mayo probably ups it a few more weeks. 🙂
Love Caesar Salads, yours looks great! Love how you give step by step instructions.
No anchovies for me either! But I love this Caesar, so beautiful especially with the shaved parmesan!
That purple-veined garlic caught me by surprise too! Just got some from Kroger the other day. 🙂 Salad looks yummy!
In Fort Wayne, Indiana we have a family owned chain of Italian restaurants called “Casa.” They have a wonderful house salad that I think you would adore with a Caesar type dressing. It’s famous here and rightfully so. It’s my favorite salad of ALL TIME.
Here’s a great copycat recipe in case you want to try: http://kateiscooking.blogspot.com/2010/06/casa-dangelo.html
Homemade caesar is the best!! Great dressing recipe!
This is THE perfect caesar salad. And our Kroger has that garlic too! It’s so pretty!
Amazingly delicious, needs to be my lunch today!
Another garlic lover, checking in! This salad looks fantastic, thanks for sharing!
That clove of garlic is huge 🙂 … I like to taste garlic in salad dressings, but my family don’t! I still add it though.
I’ll try your salad tomorrow for lunch. Pinned it!
Hi Laurie – I believe you left out the red wine vinegar in the bottom recipe. Might want to edit that 😉
Gah! Thanks for pointing that out Jessica 🙂
Hi Laurie, just wanted to say thanks, I’ve tried your dressing on cold chicken salad, it was really delicious. Thank you 🙂
My all time favorite salad is Caesar salad. I don’t try making it at home because of the store bought dressings. My life has taken a major quality upturn. I am excited.
Nothing beats homemade! Love me some Casear!
Love your blog and read you every day. I just had to point out that I laughed at you feeling “subconscious” LOL. I think you might be feeling self-conscious! 🙂
Oft my gosh! That’s hilarious! I think my subconscious meant self conscious!
Yum! Looks and sounds delicious!
Petite in Pearls
Yum this salad was so good..and we used all our leftovers for the blt’s…..it’s been 90 and humid the past couple days so these were perfect for dinner..thank you!!
Where are the anchovies????
Delicious recipe for Caesar salad dressing! Thanks for posting! Your photos are beautiful, however, there are too many! It would be nice to have the recipe posted before the photos. I am an experienced cook and really just want the recipe.
Thanks for the no egg, no anchovy Caesar dressing. I made it last night and everyone agreed it was SO good. This is going straight into my favourites folder.
I’m so glad Alison! Thanks for coming back and leaving a review!
This is delicious! Going to make this one a regular! BTW The red wine vinegar is in the ingredient list but was left out of the instructions. It should be added with the rest of the ingredients. Hesitant and new cooks will be a little tripped up by that.
I just made this — it is soooo delicious! Thanks for the recipe.
I LOVE garlic! This all sounds great. I can’t wait to try it. I think I might add minced garlic or garlic powder to the croutons…never too much garlic!! yum, yum!!
I was out of dressing and needed something quick and easy. The whole family loves Caesar, but I didn’t have any anchovies so that’s how I came across your ‘caesar dressing without anchovies” on Google.
This recipe is fantastic, and is the only Caesar dressing we eat now. It made a completely full pint jar of dressing, and you don’t need to use much. It is fantastic! And the bonus is that I am in control of what we are eating! Absolutely DELISH!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!
I’m so happy to hear that Joey! Thanks for leaving such an awesome comment 🙂
This is so good! It’s a dressing you want to eat with a spoon! Sometimes I find the garlic too strong when the dressing is fresh, but the flavour mellows as the dressing ages in the fridge. I keep this one on hand! Thank you, Laurie!
This looks delicious. However, it should be noted that Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies.
Ack! I now see that you mentioned that in the beginning of the post. Feel free to delete my comment.
Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it. so I guess it’s fail with the “without the anchovies”
Simply delicious! With a family that turns their noses up at raw eggs and actual anchovy fillets…I am always looking for great Caesar dressings, and you have offered a perfect one to add to my repertoire! “Thank You” Laurie so much for ‘The Keeper’! It was by accident that I came upon your blog and it has been a delight. The photographs and the concise instructions are beautifully done; you are now in my ‘Favourites’! (Just as a side note…the inclusion of the red wine vinegar has been omitted in the instructions. That is why the step-by-step pictures are a great tool for confirmation!)
I just found your blog and it is lovely. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. The Caesar dressing was fantastic and quite easy!
Looks great! I do hate to break it to you though that I don’t believe this is anchovy free. The Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce you are using has anchovies in it. :\
You’re probably right! I have since started making my own Worcestershire sauce — anchovy-free. Here’s the link, if you’re interested! 🙂 http://www.simplyscratch.com/2015/02/homemade-worcestershire-sauce.html
This is fantastic. Will be the one I make always. And you did say the Worchestershire has anchovies and you are right it doesn’t taste fishy or smell fishy like it does when fresh anchovies are used. I hate the anchovies or the paste but I love Worchestershire. Thank you so much for this recipe
I’m so glad you liked it Terry!!
Aside from hating mayo, my body doesn’t like it. What can I subsitute in its place? I really want to try these and maybe some bacon bits/strips.
So, question… sometimes this separates, any thoughts of what can prevent it from doing so?
Hi E! I’ve never had that happen before with this dressing, but my guess is too much oil is poured in too quickly while the dressing is mixing in the mini-food processor. A constant ultra fine thread of oil should help this from happening.
This dressing is so delicious! I’m making it again for a party today.
I’ve been looking for a homemade ceasar with no egg or anchovies and this is perfect!! Whole family just loved it, Delicious!
I’m so glad, Danielle! Thank you for taking the time to make this recipe and leave a review. You rock!
I hate anchovies and have tried making other recipes. This recipe is the BEST one I have tried!!! Spot on!!!!! Everyone loved it! This recipe is now in my recipe book! Thank you so much!!!!
This dressing is slammin! My father in law grows his own garlic, the strain of garlic is over 100 years old ( talk about organic lol )handed down and grown each generation, I popped in 3 cloves of those bad boys! Thanks for the recipe! P.S. I like to add some red onions in the salad.