Caesar Salad is probably the most ordered salad on restaurant menus. When I talk to chefs, most agree that they dislike putting a Caesar Salad on their restaurant menu because they want customers to experience something different. However, there’s a reason Caesar Salad is so popular – it’s delicious.
During the Romaine lettuce problems in California, I started using spinach leaves much more often. I have always been a spinach lover, so for me it wasn’t difficult. Tossing fresh baby spinach in a zesty Caesar dressing transforms this traditional salad into something new. I have been making this same Caesar dressing recipe since I worked at the San Francisco Chronicle Food Section when I was in pastry school a hundred years ago. I think this recipe is still one of the best because it has the right balance of flavor.
The garlicky croutons were also part of an article I wrote for the paper (check it out under Press, if you want to see original) and are definitely one of my favorite things. The superb crunch gives these nuggets a platform to present themselves in a bowl of creamy green wonder. This salad is great for lunch or dinner and you can always add a little protein if desired.
6 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
1 egg yolk – use pasteurized egg if desired
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 grindings of black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups cubed white rustic bread
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add cubed bread to a sheet pan. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, olive oil and salt – pour over bread and toss. Bake in oven 15-18 minutes or until crispy golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Add washed spinach to a large bowl, set aside. In a food processor, add lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, egg yolk, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Puree until combined, about 1 minute.
- Through the feed tube, slowly drizzle in oil (very slowly or dressing will not thicken).
- Spoon dressing over greens and toss. Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and toss. Toss with croutons and serve. Enjoy!