Caesar Salad with Lazuli Farms bacon and Homemade Dressing
Have you ever made homemade caesar dressing from mayo and anchovy paste?
If you said no, you've got to give it a try!
I remember being a teenager and learning that caesar salad had anchovies in it ... all I could think of was the TV shows from my childhood when the Ninja Turtle, Michelangelo, says "hold the anchovies". Aren't anchovies those slimy tiny fish that get put on pizzas? Ew!
Years later, and many caesar salads made with bottled saesar dressing, I decided to jump outside my comfort zone and give homemade dressing a try, despite my dislike of the thought of anchovies! About once a week, I cook up bacon pieces and tuck them in the fridge to use for multiple recipes throughout the week. The easiest way to make homemade bacon bits is to use kitchen scissors to cut up the bacon strips into small pieces before frying! Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop the bacon pieces from the frypan and allow them to cool on a paper towel-lined plate before storing them in an airtight container in the fridge.
True homemade caesar dressing would have mayo made from eggs but I chose to craft our dressing from store bought mayonnaise instead to save myself a step. We were able to find anchovy paste in the fresh seafood section of the grocery store (it needs to be kept at fridge temp) and it keeps well in the fridge for an extended period. The first time we crafted up our dressing, we were all out of lemon juice and subbed in lime juice ... and loved the flavour! So we've stuck with lime juice since but you can use either lemon or lime juice in your own version.
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoonsful lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan or similar cheese
1/2 teaspoon each of salt & pepper
3 slices bacon, cut into pieces and fried
2 medium heads of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup homemade croutons
Cook bacon and set aside.
Make homemade croutons from leftover bread or english muffins by chopping into bite size pieces, drizzling with olive oil & sprinkling with salt and pepper, then baking in a single layer on a cookie sheet until crispy and lightly browned.
Place dressing ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together. Use 1/2 of the dressing for a family size salad and store the rest in the fridge, for up to a week.
Just before serving, toss together the lettuce, bacon, croutons, and dressing.