Once you get over your fear of anchovies, homemade caesar dressing is easier than you think. Anchovies, parmesan cheese, and olive oil are the essentials to a tangy, salty, rich flavorful caesar dressing.
For awhile I've been making dressings for salads from scratch. I'm no longer interested in store bought dressings. Once I realized I could do it myself and be more satisfied with my own concoctions, I ditched spending the $4 on a bottle of dressing.
This is something I got from my grandma.
My inspiration for cooking and hosting dinners evolved from watching my grandmother do it for years, and she's so good at it. I admire how proud she is to do it. Although she might still complain about doing it herself and still not accepting any help, she's always proud of her work.
Dinners at her house always feel like an event and you're never ever left hungry. There are multiple courses to her art.
First up, she always comes through with a heavy and delicious Italian-inspired charcuterie board loaded with prosciutto, salamis, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, spicy salami stuffed green peppers-- ugh! I could go on and on.
One of her most asked for dishes during the holidays is actually her caesar salad. Everything she makes in delectable, but it's something about how rich her dressing is that it complements the whole meal.
She prepares the dressing and croutons herself. When you see just how easy it is, you'll start to do the same.
It's great to have my favorite dish by her prepared for the holidays, but as I started to learn my way around the kitchen I want to be able to make this salad dressing whenever I please. Of course it's never going to be the same without the Annet Davis touch! I created this rendition of her rich, creamy dressing based off taste. The most I could collect from her on the recipe are the ingredients and how much to eyeball.
The ingredients are beyond simple. And I promise you can make your own croutons at home, as well.
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
black pepper, lately I've been using fresh black peppercorns ground up
3 garlic cloves
1 oil-packed can of anchovies, drained
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, optional for spice!
½ loaf of bread or a few slices of sandwich bread, I chose Italian bread that was beginning to stale
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take the bread you're using for croutons and break it down into crouton sized bites. Put in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, add your chopped garlic cloves, and dump onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, or less depending on crispiness. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Step 2: Blend all dressing ingredients until smooth. Dip your pinky in and take a taste...is it as salty or tangy as you would like? Do you need the mustard for an added spice? If anything, add more olive oil and a bit more lemon juice.
Step 3: Build your salad. Wash and cut your romaine. I made corn on the cob and simply cut the cooked kernels off and added them to my salad bowl. Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand!
Add your cooked croutons and fresh dill leaves for garnish!
I also took it a step further and made crispy chicken caesar wraps using the same dressing! Check it out on Tiktok!