Caesar Salad with Garlicky Croutons Recipe

It’s time to rescue the classic Caesar from bagged salad boredom. A modern Caesar salad starts with romaine leaves left whole, and ends when there isn’t a garlicky crouton or drop of the anchovy-, Parm-, and pepper-flecked dressing left on the plate.

active:
15 mins
total:
20 mins
Yield:
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

Croutons

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 cups cubed baguette (from 1 [5-oz.] baguette)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup large capers, rinsed and drained, patted dry
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup pure olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about ½ cup), divided
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts (about 1 lb.), leaves separated
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about ½ cup)

Directions

  • Step 1

    Prepare the croutons: Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat olive oil and garlic cloves in a small saucepan over medium-high; cook until garlic begins to sizzle, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard garlic.

  • Step 2

    Place cubed baguette in a medium bowl; drizzle with garlic-infused oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

  • Step 3

    Prepare the salad: Heat vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high to 375°F. Fry capers in 2 batches until golden, 30 seconds per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

  • Step 4

    Combine vinegar, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt, anchovy fillets, garlic, and egg yolk in a blender. Process until smooth. With blender running, slowly add olive oil until thickened. Transfer dressing to a bowl; stir in pepper and ¼ cup of the grated cheese.

  • Step 5

    Combine romaine hearts, croutons, and remaining ¼ cup grated cheese in a large bowl; drizzle with ¾ cup of the dressing, and toss gently to coat. Divide lettuce mixture among 4 plates; sprinkle with capers and shaved cheese. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

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