Caesar salad is one of those dishes that I absolutely love because you can change it up however you like. Your protein source has unlimited options, or you can just have a simple one as a side to your main dish. I love that it can also be your main dish, although my husband thinks salads and soups are not a meal but as long as I throw some meat on the salad we are good to go!
I do have a love hate relationship with croutons, I love them but most of the time they shred my mouth to pieces, or they are too hard and break my plastic fork when at a picnic or BBQ. I also hate buying something that so simply you can make at home. After some tweeking about a year and a half ago I found the perfect combination for a great crouton, crispy but also a bit softer so that my mouth doesn't hate me later.
I will have to note that my dressing for some may be a bit controversial because it has a raw egg in it. I will tell you I have never had a problem ever in the many many years that I have had this dressing. This is my Mom's dressing I just add a bit less garlic because I find too much over powers other flavors. When it comes to a raw egg in a dressing there are claims that the lemon juice basically cleans out the risk of salmonella. If you don't feel comfortable using one you can use egg powder or even egg product in replacement, I have even heard using mayo can work.
4 sourdough English muffins
1/2 cup of salted butter
2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder or onion Salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt butter in a large Pyrex bowl in the microwave and set aside. Cut English muffins into half inch pieces.
Add the seasonings to the butter and mix well, add the croutons, with a spatula mix them in with the butter and spices. Make sure not to be too rough, but you want all the pieces to be nicely coated with all that good butter.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes to ensure an even bake. You do need to pay attention to the smell and time because sometimes they can cook too fast and burn, again I hate croutons that cut my mouth apart.
When they are a nice golden brown pull them out, blow on one and try it to make sure it has that nice crisp but is still soft in the middle.
Once cooked place them off to the side and allow them to cool down.
For the Caesar salad dressing you only need six simple ingredients, and a blender and wala you have homemade dressing. I do recommend that you use it right away or within a day because of the raw egg you probably don't want to leave it in the fridge for weeks.
1/4 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup of oil (canola I use or a combo of olive and canola)
2 small garlic cloves (start with one and see how potent it is)
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (you can use the canned stuff but come on the good stuff is better)
1/2 teaspoon on Dijon mustard (I have regular in here because I ran out of Dijon and it works fine as well)
Mince garlic before hand because it helps with the breakdown.
Blend all the ingredients in a blender until it is completely smooth and slightly creamy. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
See how easy that was! It's so good and not filled with a bunch of crazy preservatives and fillers!
Here are the directions to assemble the salad:
Barbecue two large chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.
Chop up lettuce into desired size and then rinse and dry, and set aside.
In a separate bowl toss the lettuce with the amount of dressing you desire and then plate on separate plates.
Sprinkle bacon bits and some shaved or shredded parmesan cheese on top of the lettuce, add croutons and then place the sliced chicken on top.
Then enjoy! One other thing I like to add is sliced lemons, but I didn't have any so there is always next time!
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