Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mama's famous Caesar Salad Dressing.

Mama's Famous Dressing

Okay, you have me on a roll now, so at long last as once promised, here's my own personal famous caesar salad dressing recipe. If you can remember, there are only five ingredients in this dressing, plus optional other things to compliment it. JUST FIVE!

Only 5 basic ingredients necessary to make this.

  • 2/3 cup oil – I use extra light olive oil, or canola oil is fine
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ juice from a medium sized lemon (heck, I use all the juice over here!)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 clove minced garlic (depending of germs floating around, I always begin with 5 and mince upwards to 9 if we’re fighting something! Beware of bad breath later on, but a runny nose WILL persist and clear up any bug before morning. Are your cheeks puckered up yet reading this?)
  • Parmesan cheese

This dressing is great made in a food processor. However, I’m too lazy to take the thing out, so this is my “speed tip" of the day. Use your blender, BUT you must place items in this order to be successful in enjoying a nice thick white dressing.


Have all your ingredients ready at hand, garlic all minced (try this trick – use the knife end and bang your clove to loosen the skin and the peel will fall free quickly), and lemon juice squeezed (or substitute “real lemon” constituted juice to taste. We like our lemony with lots of garlic obviously).

  • 1 - Place the egg into the bottom of the blender, yes raw! We use organic free-range eggs only, so up to you if you prefer to coddle yours a bit first.
  • 2 - Stir for a brief moment to blend egg yolk and white together.
  • 3 - Add 1/3 cup of oil slowly while on stir mode.
  • 4 – Throw in all the other ingredients (garlic, lemon juice, salt) and stir, adding in the rest of the oil by pouring slowly.

Watch how it whips up, ending the cycle at just the right time to be thick and creamy, but not turning into butter! Taste a bit, add more lemon or more garlic if necessary (wink). Once you’ve had this dressing, you will ALWAYS want it again and again. It’s so easy too with everything at hand in your pantry.

To use up the portion this recipe makes, the optimal amount of Romaine lettuce to use is two heads. Our family eats an entire head of romaine lettuce each time, and since we don’t like a whole lot of runny dressing on our salad, we use about ¾ of this recipe at one time, or add another ½ head of romaine lettuce to the bowl. One warning though – once the dressing is on the salad, eat it all or throw the remains away. It doesn’t keep well in the fridge after, wilting away. You can cover the rest of the dressing unused and refrigerate for up to another 18 hours or so, then dispose of the leftover due to the raw egg content.

For the lettuce – wash as necessary, dry in a salad spinner or roll into a clean dishtowel. For company, you might wish to be picky and actually tear all your lettuce nicely, but for our family, I lay many leaves together, slice down the center, and chop it all up with a knife. Believe me; it doesn’t have time to rust here, as there is never any leftover.

Place all the lettuce in a big wooden salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss well, sprinkling up to one cup (or more) of parmesan cheese into it, or place a small bowl on the table instead for others to add their own. Oh, and we loathe those little croutons over here, so I haven’t even mentioned them as yet. Add if you prefer.

This is the PERFECT companion to a sliced breast of chicken, a skewer or shrimps, garlic bread, or even a dish of pasta. Enjoy!

Take it to go!

Another perfect occasion for this recipe and meal, is to take it along on a picnic. Using a cooler with an ice block to keep it cold, place your dressing into an airtight container. Have your lettuce all cut up (ripped up) and roll it all up in a dish towel, then place into a plastic bag. It's ready to pour out into a big wooden bowl when the time is right. Cook your chicken breasts ahead and slice diagonally, then wrap each portion into saran wrap, stack and place all into a ziplock baggie. Whatever else you bring, do it in style! Cut up a few lemon slices to add to a glass of water, parmesan cheese and croutons on the side, rolls and butter to go, fresh fruit salad/dessert to go and a clean set of dishes to place them onto, and voila! You have a lovely meal on the go, making a memory along the way. I made this exact meal for two friends after an afternoon kayak paddle at Harrison Lake, and we all enjoyed the food blitz together. It was super easy and I really fooled them into believing I could cook! laugh...wink. Don't mind the photo either, we've just worked hard paddling our kayaks around the rough waters on the lake...I know I have better ones around here, just not at hand this minute.