Alas, my maternity leave has come to an end. I have gone back to work (my day job) so now I figure it is time for me to start blogging again. I decided to make my return with the Kosher Link Up (see below). This month the theme is croutons. I would love to say that I have a really creative use for croutons in a recipe, but my recipe is for a traditional use for the little crouton – salad. I have a FANTASTIC salad recipe with really delicious croutons. I do not like most store bought croutons. I find them to be overly salty and hard as rocks. These have no sodium and you can make them as crisp as you like. The reason I call the them “garlic bread croutons” is because this is actually how I make garlic bread and just do not cook it as long. I use both whole wheat and white bread only because I think it looks pretty. However, you can use any bread you would like.
My recipe is close to a traditional Caesar salad, but without the raw egg yolk. Truthfully, I have made it with the egg and do not find there to be much of a difference. Since that is the case I would rather leave it out and save on the calories and salmonella risk! Yes, there are anchovies in it. If you are really freaked out then you can leave them out, but I HIGHLY recommend that you try it! It is not fishy at all! Whenever someone sees me making the dressing they get nervous about the anchovies and I have to promise that they will never know they are there. The trick is to really chop and work the anchovies into a paste with the fresh garlic and then incorporate the paste into the dressing. They add a great flavor without the fishy taste. Trust me, my husband and sister would not touch it if it were fishy at all and they are my biggest fans of this dish 🙂
I make this salad all the time because it is very easy and so, so good. I am always getting requests for it so I am glad I will finally be able to share the recipe. It is great as a starter salad or main course with a piece of grilled or blackened fish.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 – 15 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 6 servings
4 slices bread (I use 2 whole wheat and 2 regular, but you can use all the same)
2 large heads of romaine lettuce washed and dried (or 3 packages pre-washed)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Juice of one large lemon
3 anchovy fillets
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Lay all four slices of bread on a large plate or cutting board. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Sprinkle that side with garlic powder. Cut the crusts off the bread and then cut them into bite size squares to make the croutons. Place the croutons on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (quick clean up). Cook in the oven for 5 minutes, then toss and cook another 5-10 minutes until the croutons are crunchy.
Juice the lemon into a large bowl. If you are not getting a lot of juice from the lemon use another one. Finely mince the garlic clove. Once chopped add the anchovy fillets on top of the garlic. Continue to mince and chop the garlic and anchovy together until the two are integrated into a paste.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and whisk together until everything is combined. Pour the olive oil in a stream into the mixture while whisking until there is a thick dressing consistency.
Chop the lettuce and add it to the bowl with the dressing. Toss until the lettuce is covered with dressing. Add the croutons to the top and sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese.