Green salads served alongside dinner (especially during the week when it’s just the 7 of us staring at each other) are usually a throw-together affair for me. For heaven’s sake, no recipe and usually served with dressing straight from the refrigerator. In my case, it’s always and forever bleu cheese (my fave is by Litehouse), but my kids and Brian are straight ranch guzzlers (homemade ranch when I’m on my A-game and Litehouse brand when I’m not – and PS, no affiliation with them, just love, love their dressings).
Anyway, what I’m saying, that is probably not at all clear at this point, is actually that I love to have a few, what I would consider, more “gourmet” salad offerings for when we do have company over. I have this delicious green salad (so yum, don’t even think about leaving out the pears) and a couple incredibly tasty spinach salads – and I serve them often when it’s not 5:30 p.m. on an average soccer-practicing Tuesday night when we’ll be lucky to eat something more than just the main dish at the real, live table instead of standing around the kitchen island.
I’m thrilled to add another delectable salad to the nice dinner rotation: Sundays or we’re having guests. My friend, Allie (who I met through blogging, but not really met if you know what I mean) sent me this recipe years ago. I lost it. And she thankfully sent it again. Of course, I adapted it like crazy based on my taste preference and to cut down the oil a bit but the end result is magic in Caesar salad form.
I can’t necessarily declare the dressing an authentic, classic recipe since it doesn’t contain raw eggs or anchovies, but it is still tangy and flavorful and delicious. And as a sidenote, we all know that a true Caesar salad is more than the dressing, right? It’s about the crisp romaine lettuce, shaved or shredded fresh Parmesan, and of course the croutons (please tell me you’ll try homemade croutons at least once because the utter fabulousness will change lives, I’m sure of it). I’m in the Caesar salad just for the homemade croutons, if you want to know the truth. But this dressing certainly doesn’t hurt.
Make this midweek (you crazy kid, you) or wait until you have a special occasion; either way, it’s really simple and really, really delicious. Oh, and if you want to take it completely over the top and make it a main meal, serve it with this Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken. Heaven.
Sometimes I like to add a dollop of mayonnaise or thick, plain Greek yogurt (about 2 tablespoons) to the dressing before blending to give it a creamy texture. And sometimes I don't. Either way is delicious.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed in a garlic press
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tobasco or Tapatio)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or thick, plain Greek yogurt (optional - see note)
- 2 heads chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/2 - 1 cup freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese (I use my vegetable peeler to shave slices from a large block of Parm)
- Croutons (homemade method here)
- For the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients together and whisk vigorously, shake together in a jar, or blend until well-combined.
- Toss the romaine lettuce and Parmesan cheese with the dressing. Top with the croutons and serve immediately.
Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe my friend, Allie M, sent me (thanks, Allie – sorry I adapted the heck out of it!)