… and brown butter croutons
Of course. Can’t leave those out. Only the most important part. Ever.
Well, almost the most important part. I think the actual important part here is the dressing. Never did I ever think I’d have the guts to make caesar dressing at home. Never did I ever think it would taste as good as some of my favorite restaurants’ caesars. [Sidebar: I had an extremely unfortunate experience with a caesar salad on vacation a few weeks ago. From now on… I'll probably make my own dressing. whomp whomp.]
Never did I ever think I could replicate this dressing that I enjoy, one of the only store bought dressings I actually like but still get iffy on at times. Never did I ever think I’d type out all of these stupid sentences related to the never did I ever game, which I only know about because a mean girl in high school started a round to say something embarrassing about me.
Guess I’ve really let that go… 13 years later. #growup
So here’s the deal. Caesar salads are the salads that made me like salads. Yes – the crazy salads I make these days are the salads that keep me eating salads, but caesar salads are the reason I was physically able to start. And I say physically able because the way I would shy away from anything salad or vegetable-like a few years ago was downright ridiculous. Physically ridiculous.
Initially, I was skeptical of the caesar salad – in this little circle of trust I will tell you that I actually prefer crispy iceberg lettuce (oh the horror) and the word “anchovies” freaked me quite a bit since I wasn’t familiar with them aside from really bad 90s sitcom jokes. THEN.
Then I realized that caesar salads were basically just a front for loads of parmesan cheese and croutons. The romaine was just a vehicle for giving the most delicious, creamy dressing a way to catapult into your mouth. I learned that lesson and I learned it well. I was almost immediately sold.
The best part was that I probably had my first caesar salad in a dive bar. And if I thought that was good…
A gigantic deal about this salad for me is that it’s one salad that I enjoy PLAIN. Completely simple. Like how it’s meant to be. As in, no meat, no french fries, no chips or quesadillas or whatever else the heck I have the audacity to throw on top of a bed of greens. You know me.
So of course… I couldn’t keep it that way. But all I really added was some roasted corn – due to the serious addiction I have going on – and it was the best meal ever. At least until I make the next best meal ever. Which, you know, will probably be tomorrow or something.
Yield: serves 2
Total Time: 30 minutes
2 ears sweet corn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup whole wheat bread cubes
2 tablespoons brown butter
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 ounce parmesan cheese, shaved
3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 anchovies, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush corn with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until kernels are soft and golden. If you'd like them more charred, you can broil them for 1 to 2 minutes. While the corn is roasting, you can also add the bread cubes to a baking sheet and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden. As soon as removing the croutons from the oven, drizzle them with the brown butter. Cut the corn from the cob.
To make the dressing, add the garlic, yogurt, parmesan, mustard, vinegar, anchovies, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until pureed. With the processor still on, stream in the olive oil until a creamy dressing forms.
Add the lettuce and corn to a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with the dressing, then add the croutons and remaining cheese. Serve!
[dressing slightly adapted from food network]
I will cry when corn season is over.