Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Julius Caesar Salad and Homemade Ranch Dressing

The following recipes come from The Pioneer Woman on The Food Network. We were watching the episode entitled "Shakespeare Movie Night" that included a very tasty looking Supreme Pizza Lasagna.  

Oddly enough, the thing that really caught my attention was the caesar salad she prepared.  I have been thinking about making one of these salads since watching that show.  The dressing looked creamy and delicious paired with the crunchy croutons on that bed of romaine lettuce.  The grated cheese is like the icing on the cake.

Usually I don't get too enthused about a salad, but she made it look awesome!

Since The Captain's favorite salad dressing is Ranch, I have also included her homemade recipe.

Sometimes I love eating the rabbit food as a main meal when I have a strong craving!


Salad Dressing:
1 cup (real) mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic, smashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 loaf ciabatta, crusts on, roughly chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 heads green leaf lettuce, sliced
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, slice


For the salad dressing: Put the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, Parmesan, balsamic, Worcestershire, anchovies, garlic and some salt and pepper into a blender or food processor and pulse the processor or blend on low speed for several seconds. Adjust the consistency if needed with a little extra buttermilk. Refrigerate the dressing for a few hours (it just gets better!) before using it on the salad.

For the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Throw the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and toss them in the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Sprinkle on half of the Parmesan, toss, sprinkle on more and toss again. Bake, tossing again halfway through, until crisp and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the salad: Throw the green leaf and romaine lettuce into a bowl. Add some dressing, and give it a good initial toss, just so you can evaluate how much more dressing you need. Add more dressing to taste. Add the cooled croutons. Toss gently and serve.

Recipe Source

Homemade Ranch Dressing
from The Pioneer Woman


1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash hot sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk (as needed for desired consistency)


Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle on the salt and mash it into a paste with a fork.

In a bowl, combine the garlic paste, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, dill, chives, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, vinegar, paprika, cayenne and hot sauce. Add the buttermilk to desired consistency and mix to combine, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thinning with more buttermilk if needed.

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