You probably know by now that I love homemade dressings. Not only are they incredibly easy to make with common ingredients on hand, but they are much better for you. Once you start making your own dressings and taste how fresh they are, the bottled stuff won’t taste the same anymore.
How often do you purchase a bottle of dressing that winds up getting thrown out when it only half of it used. I’m funny about that stuff, and after things like that sit in the refrigerator awhile, it doesn’t matter what the expiration date is on the label, things just go bad. Making fresh, homemade salad dressing gives you just enough to have on hand without being wasteful and can be a money saver too.
The twins have gotten into salads lately. As you can imagine I am so excited that my picky kids have opted to eats salads over some other foods. Since I am battling with them to eat other veggies, if a salad makes them happy, I’m happy with that. I actually have been making their salads with a dressing that is in my next cookbook Summer Thyme, coming out May 19th. You know it has to be good if the twins are loving it. My Caesar salad is another favorite, especially with Mr Mother Thyme. Crisp romaine lettuce tossed, crunchy bacon, sliced red onions, shredded Parmesan cheese, garlic croutons and shredded chicken tossed in a creamy Caesar salad dressing. When it comes to Caesar dressings I usually like the creamier version, just personal preference.
For my Caesar salads I always crumble fresh bacon, and make fresh croutons. I don’t get into cooking bacon on the stove. I hate splatter. I simply line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the bacon strips on there. Bake the bacon at 375 degrees for about 18-20 minutes until nice and crispy. No splatter, no mess and perfectly cooked bacon. I also cut up day old French bread and toss it with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and spread them on another baking sheet and bake them until nice and toasted. While the bacon and croutons and in the oven I cut the lettuce, onion and get the other ingredients ready so everything comes together rather quickly and easily.
Key ingredients for a classic Caesar Salad~
Sliced red onions
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Shredded chicken (optional)
Sliced mushrooms (optional)
Chopped egg (optional)
This creamy Caesar dressing is great not just for salads. Toss it with chicken, use it to make Caesar wraps, or even as a dip for veggies. However you use, it once you try this version, you will never want to use the store bought stuff again.
- 1 cup regular or light mayonnaise
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 lemons, juiced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until blended. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or mason jar.