This salad is crunchy, bold and packed with Parmesan cheese.
The dressing is definitely what makes this salad special. Rich and creamy, with a touch of unexpected – the anchovies. You could skip them, but you should not. Give them a chance. It’s not overwhelmingly fishy or tangy, but it helps create a new dimension of flavour for this simple and unassuming dish.
The choice of salad is easy, just pick the crunchy type such as iceberg or romaine lettuce – the texture makes a huge difference here. The chicken breast or thighs can be cooked on the grill or in the oven. Regarding the cheese, I strongly recommend using the one and only Parmigiano Reggiano. Parmesan is a key ingredient in this Caesar salad recipe.
Homemade croutons are so easy to make and so delicious that I always bake more than I need just to nibble on them while I prepare the rest of the salad. The best ones turn out from sourdough or country style bread, but plain white bread makes for good croutons also.
This recipe is such a classic, but it always raises up to its expectations.
Classic Caesar Salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce leaves separated
- 2 chicken breasts
- 250 g sourdough bread diced
- 100 ml olive oil extra virgin
- 100 g Parmesan cheese divided
For the dressing
- 10 g Parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 anchovies in oil
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
- black pepper freshly ground
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Tear bread into small chunks, add olive oil, finely grate 20 g Parmesan cheese, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, tossing occasionally.
- Roast chicken breast or thighs at 200°C for 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 75°C. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then slice it.
- To make the dressing, crush garlic until it forms a paste, then mash in the anchovies. Finely grate 10 g Parmesan cheese, then add lemon juice, mayo and mustard. Mix and gradually stir in 4 tbsp olive oil.
- To assemble the salad, tear lettuce leaves into bite sized pieces into a large salad bowl, add in chicken, croutons, shaved Parmesan and drizzle with most of the dressing. Toss everything together and top with the remaining dressing and season with freshly ground black pepper.