One of our favourite salads would have to be ceasar. Every time we go out to a restaurant, this would be one of the salads which we would order. And if we have it at home, the dressing would be something from a bottle purchased from a supermarket. However I've yet to come across a delicious bottled dressing - the ones that I've purchased in the past were either too sour, too watery and somehow never up to a "restaurant" standard. So it was with glee when I came across this recipe from a cookbook by Karen Martini. Her picture of a plated ceasar salad looked so delicious that I was immediately drawn to try out the recipe.
All I can say is it's so delicious that I'm never going to look at a bottled ceaser salad dressing again. (Guess what ... I made another batch again the week after!) Furthermore it's so easy to whip up and you will be done in no time at all. Both my hubby and I are great garlic fans, so for us, the more garlic the better. Guess you could say that even a vampire would have stayed clear of us that evening! Another plus point about home-made salad dressing is that you can control what goes into it and balance out the flavours as you go along.
Classic Ceasar Salad
Recipe adapted from Karen Martini "Where the Heart is"
1 bulb garlic
1 cup egg mayonnaise
2 Tsp sour cream
8 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
splash of white wine vinegar
3 baby cos lettuce, very outer leaves removed and each cut into 6 wedges
1 red onion, finely sliced (optional)
3 Tsp small capers
10 slices of streaky bacon, either fried till crispy or roasted in 170C oven for about 10 to 12 mins, till crispy and brown
150g shaved parmesan (optional)
extra lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
A handful of croutons
Olive oil, to serve
1) To make the dressing, roast the garlic buib at 150C for 30 mins, then cut and squeeze out the flesh.
2) Combine roasted garlic flesh, mayonnaise, sour cream, anchovies, lemon juice and chopped garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. (I just mixed everything into a bowl). If mixture is too stiff, add a little lemon juice until dressing is sauce-like. Set aside.
Arrange lettuce on plates and drizzle over dressing. Break the bacon over the salad and top with croutons. Shave over some parmesan, sprinkle with some black pepper and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil. (I added a sprinkle of dried garlic flakes as well)