Dress up traditional Caesar salad dressing by adding storebought pesto for a delicious side salad.
3 ounces French bread baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup organic canola mayonnaise (such as Spectrum)
3 tablespoons refrigerated pesto
4 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 garlic clove, minced
12 cups torn romaine lettuce
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Place bread in a large bowl; drizzle with oil. Toss to coat. Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until golden, turning once.
Grate 2 tablespoons cheese; shave remaining cheese to equal about 6 tablespoons. Set shaved cheese aside.
Combine grated cheese, mayonnaise, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine croutons and lettuce in a large bowl. Drizzle mayonnaise mixture over lettuce mixture; toss to coat.
Place 1 1/3 cups salad on each of 6 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon shaved cheese.
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Hands down the best Caesar dressing I've ever had. I recommend including the anchovy, even though I actually don't like anchovies personally. It adds depth to the flavor, but there is no distinct fishy taste -- there are so many other flavors that stand out (hot sauce, pesto, etc).
I made this for dinner last night - this salad is restaurant quality! I couldn't believe it! Very easy to make! The only thing I did different is I omitted the anchovy paste (I don't like anchovies). I'll definately make this again!
Assembled to recipe with a bit more Tabasco due to sloppiness on my part. Assertive flavors, creamy dressing, definitely would make for guests or potlucks. Served as first course to CL's steak tips with peppered mushroom gravy.