Master the classic from-scratch Caesar Salad, complete with crisp romaine, zesty herbed croutons, and a creamy homemade Caesar dressing. All of this salad recipe goodness can be yours just 20 minutes from now!
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt.
Add bread pieces to a very large bowl and toss with olive oil mixture until well combined. Evenly spread croutons on prepared sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely.
To make the Casear dressing:
In a food processor, add egg and process until frothy, about 10 seconds. Add garlic, Parmesan cheese, white balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon, spicy brown mustard, anchovies, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and pulse until well combined.
While the processor is on, slowly drizzle in olive oil to create the emulsion. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the salad:
Add chopped romaine to a large bowl, drizzle with Caesar dressing. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (or more) or Parmesan cheese and croutons. Toss to combine. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese as garnish.
Italian seasoning: Store-bought is fine, or make it yourself by combining a teaspoon EACH of dried basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme (or leave one out if you don't have it).
Bread: Try French baguette, Italian loaf, sourdough, or even challah; use pretty much anything you have lying around that's on the savory side.
Dijon mustard: I love the zip from 1 1/2 teaspoons in this dressing. Adjust to your palate: incorporate more to taste or omit entirely.
Spicy brown mustard: Again, start with 1 1/2 teaspoons in the dressing, then add more to taste. You could also omit entirely or substitute with whole grain mustard.
Yield: This Caesar Salad makes 8 appetizer or side dish servings. If you're offering this as a main (say, topped with sliced rotisserie chicken or baked salmon), this will serve about 4.
Storage: Once the dressing is added, the salad won't keep well. But, undressed salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Make ahead: Make the dressing up to 3 days in advance and store covered in the refrigerator. Bake the croutons up to 3 days in advance and store covered at room temperature.
Easier Caesar: If you don't want to consume raw eggs or play with anchovies, try this easier recipe: Whisk together 1 cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons), 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).