Southwest Caesar Salad & Garlic Croutons

 

A former co-worker Tyler sent me this recipe. I couldn’t be happier. I love Caesar salad at restaurants but hadn’t attempted it at home. I took the recipe and made a couple alterations. It came out wonderful. You must like cilantro, garlic, and anchovies to enjoy this one. Packed with bold delicious flavors! Thank you Tyler for sharing this with us.
 
Special Note: If you don’t like anchovies, you can leave them out completely 🙂 
Dressing:
 
2/3 cup chopped cilantro                                          1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 chopped shallots
2/3 of 2oz tin of anchovy fillets, I used Reese Flat Fillets of Anchovies in pure olive oil
2-4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño, seeded, chopped (you can leave a few seeds if you want a spicy kick)
One lemon, squeezed, estimate 1 TBSP. lemon juice
1-2 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper
Salad:
 
2 heads of Romaine, chopped up
3 cups croutons
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (oil packed), drained and patted dry
Fresh grated parmesan cheese, shredded
Croutons:
 
4 large slices of sourdough, 3/4” thick, 3/4” cubed
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/3 tin of anchovies (roughly 2 slivers)
2 garlic cloves diced fine or pressed
1-2 TBSP fresh parmesan cheese, grated 
Directions for Dressing:
If you want to take this dressing slow, add in the garlic, jalapeno, and shallots in first and blend until chopped fine into your food processor. Then add in the cilantro, blend again. Now add the parmesan, blend completely. Finally add in your anchovies and pulse + blend until smooth. Very slowly add in your olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Otherwise you can just throw everything in together if you desire. Place all of first 9 ingredients in food processor or blender.  Blend till smooth.  Then very slowly drip the olive oil in (while its running) till blended.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate till ready to use.
Directions for Croutons:
In a small sauce pan, heat up olive oil, med heat.  Add garlic and anchovies till anchovies are totally broken apart about 5 min.  Let cool.  Then pour over bread cubes and mix till coated.  Pour grated parmesan over cubes and mix well.  Bake 375 for 15-20 min. If you are in a hurry and don’t want to heat up a sauce pan, you can combine all crouton ingredients mixing in a bowl with your hands and then bake in the oven until crispy. I used a baking pan sprayed with PAM so they wouldn’t stick to the foil.
Directions for putting your salad together:
 
Mix lettuce and croutons together in large bowl.  Toss with enough dressing to coat.  Top with sun dried tomatoes, corn and peppers.  Sprinkle shredded parmesan for garnish. Add additional pepper for looks.

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