Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cesar Salad Dressing--Home-Made

The other day I received an "emergency call" from my friend. Her daughter wanted Cesar salad for lunch, but she liked only the dressing I made and my friend forgot how to make it.

On the day when I started this blog, in my "mission statement" I declared that this blog is dedicated to all who ask about my recipes, so I had to rise to the task and respond to this emergency. Besides, it felt great that someone liked my dressing above any other.

I always make my own dressing. This way I can use the highest quality ingredients, adjust the proportions to find the exact taste I like, and do without all the preservatives that all the ready-to-use dressings are full of. However, I do not make my own mayonnaise because I am not sure if it would be safe to use raw eggs, even if they are organic, but I buy organic mayonnaise and lighten it up with oil and yogurt.

It is always best to make the amount of dressing that can be consumed at once, but even if you do too much of it, this dressing can stay refrigerated in a tightly closed container for at least a week.

When I gave this recipe to my friend I had to improvise a bit, trying to imagine how much of which ingredient I add. I never measure ingredients, especially while making dressings. Instead I just try it when I make it and decide what else to add and in what quantity. She did not call with a follow-up question, so I assume the proportions I gave were right. But on the next day I bought some romaine lettuce hearts and, when I made my own dressing, I measured exactly each ingredient just in case I needed to give it to her again.

By the way, I almost never add chicken to my Cesar salad, but just use romaine hearts, baguette, or croutons. That is how my son likes it best.

Cesar Salad Dressing
(For one head of romaine lettuce)

1/2 cup mayonnaise preferably organic,
2 tsp finely ground mustard,
2 tsp sugar,
3 tbsp yogurt (Greek or European style work best),
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
1 tsp dried basil leaves,
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese,
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce,
2 garlic cloves minced,
salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. In a medium bowl mix mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
2. Add mayonnaise, yogurt and oil. Mix well.

3. Mix in basil, garlic and Parmesan cheese.

4. Let it all infuse for about 10 minutes and serve on salad.