Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower, Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer
Serves 4 to 6
It’s time to rescue the classic Caesar from bagged salad boredom. A modern Caesar salad starts with romaine leaves left whole, and ends when there isn’t a garlicky crouton or drop of the anchovy-, Parm-, and pepper-flecked dressing left on the plate.
½ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, smashed
3 cups cubed baguette (from 1 [5-oz.] baguette)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups vegetable oil
¼ cup large capers, rinsed and drained, patted dry
2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
2½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
6 anchovy fillets
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup pure olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about ½ cup), divided
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about ½ cup)
How to Make It
Prepare the croutons: Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat olive oil and garlic cloves in a small saucepan over medium-high; cook until garlic begins to sizzle, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard garlic.
Place cubed baguette in a medium bowl; drizzle with garlic-infused oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Prepare the salad: Heat vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high to 375°F. Fry capers in 2 batches until golden, 30 seconds per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Combine vinegar, lemon juice, water, mustard, salt, anchovy fillets, garlic, and egg yolk in a blender. Process until smooth. With blender running, slowly add olive oil until thickened. Transfer dressing to a bowl; stir in pepper and ¼ cup of the grated cheese.
Combine romaine hearts, croutons, and remaining ¼ cup grated cheese in a large bowl; drizzle with ¾ cup of the dressing, and toss gently to coat. Divide lettuce mixture among 4 plates; sprinkle with capers and shaved cheese. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.