Over the years, Caesar Salad has come in and out of food “fashion” but as a huge garlic fan, it’s remained my favourite salad. Many, many years ago (like 20 years ago!), I ripped out a Caesar Salad recipe that was featured in a Chef’s Showcase column in the newspaper. This recipe was for the Caesar Salad at a restaurant called “Jennie’s” which was located then at 360 Queen St. E. in Toronto. I don’t think the restaurant still exists (I googled it and came up blank), but the faded and stained recipe lives on in my recipe box.
It’s absolutely the best Caesar Salad, where every part of it from croutons, to the bacon bits, tothe dressing is made from scratch! I’m documenting it here for safe-keeping (since I’ve misplaced the recipe several times already) and to share with anyone else who appreciates a really great Caesar Salad.
Jen’s Best Caesar Salad
Summary: This is a Caesar salad lover’s dream. Homemade croutons and a homemade, creamy dressing full of garlic and fresh lemon flavours. Try it topped with grilled chicken, for a great meal salad.
- 10 strips of bacon
- 1/2 a slightly stale baguette, cut into cubes
- pinch of salt and pepper
- pinch of oregano
- pinch of basil
- pinch of mustard powder
- pinch of thyme
- 2 medium heads Romaine lettuce
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped or mashed (use fresh rather than the jarred variety if you can, as it really does make a difference in this recipe).
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- juice of one lemon (again, fresh is best here, if you have a lemon handy)
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper (or black will do if you don’t mind the specks)
- 6 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese (pull out the good stuff – Parmesan Reggiano, if you’ve got it.)
- 1. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from fat and break in to small bits. Reserve.
- 2. Pour the bacon fat into a bowl and add the cubes of baguette. Add the salt and pepper, oregano, basil, mustard powder and thyme and toss until the cubes are completely coated.
- 3. Place cubes on a baking sheet and bake in a 350° F. oven until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally to ensure that they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
- 4. Thoroughly wash and dry the Romain lettuce. Kepp refrigerated until ready to use. When you are preparing the salad, break the Romain into bite-sized pieces.
- 5. Place the finely mashed garlic in to a food processor (alternately, use a mixer or even a blender). Add the salt, vinegar, eggs and Dijon mustard and process lightly until the ingredients are completely mixed. With the processor running very, very slowly, add the oil a drop at a time at first, then in a little trickle until all the oil is added and completely mixed in. Add the lemon juice, pepper and Parmesan cheese and mix in completely.
- 6. Place the Romaine in a large bowl. Sprinkle the bacon bits and croutons on top. Sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese and enough salad dressing to moisten the lettuce.
- Tuck in and enjoy!
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 40 min
Number of servings (yield): 6