Caesar salad tower with layers of Romaine, parmesan LFG sourdough garlic croutons and lectin free Caesar dressing from scratch, and anchovies of course.
A great Caesar salad is a meal on its own. It's a simple salad, with five important elements: lettuce, cheese, croutons, dressing and anchovies. This classic salad gets a Lectin Free Gourmet facelift with Plant Paradox compliant ingredients assembled into a layered salad tower.
When I was managing Fanny's Grill in Midway, Utah, one of the most popular items on the menu was the Caesar salad. The croutons were plump, garlic croutons made from real sourdough bread and they were fantastic. But I also love the way The Avenues Proper, a restaurant in my neighborhood, uses crouton crumbles in their kale Caesar salad. So for this salad, we are using course crumbles.
To make this salad lectin free, you need good compliant croutons. I make my own garlic croutons with my LFG sourdough. They're so good, just like the big Caesar croutons at Fanny's Grill.
You can have these croutons, too. Just get your LFG sourdough starter going. Whenever I bake up an LFG sourdough baguette, I slice off the ends and make croutons. Just cube the bread, toss in EVOO and fresh minced garlic, a little salt and bake until golden brown and crunchy.
Next to the croutons, the dressing is also a very important element of the Caesar salad. Real Caesar dressing has fresh garlic, anchovies and egg yolk. It's an easy emulsification of oil, acid, garlic and eggs. I'll show you how to make it fast in a blender or food processor. Let's get started.
(makes 2 salads)
LFG Caesar Salad Tower
2 1-inch Cross Cut "Stars" of Washed Romaine Lettuce
1/2 C Parmigiano-Reggiano shaved
8 LFG Sourdough Garlic Croutons
4 T Homemade LFG Caesar Dressing
4 Wild Caught Anchovy Fillets
LFG Caesar Dressing
2 Wild Caught Anchovy Fillets
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tiny Pinch Salt
1/8 t Cracked Black Pepper
1 Pastured Egg Yolk
2 T Fresh Lemon Juice (more if needed)
1/4 t Dijon Mustard
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you may not need all)
1 T Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated
Step 1: Make the Dressing
In a blender or small food processor, drop in anchovies, garlic clove and a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Pulse about 5 times. Drop in the egg yolk, lemon juice and mustard. Pulse five more times. With blender or processor on low, gradually, drizzle in EVOO one tablespoon at a time. You'll notice the mixture emulsifying and turning into a creamy dressing. Once you achieve the right consistency, stop with the oil. Add the final ingredient, finely grated, real Italian parmesan cheese and give it one final mixing. The dressing should be thick but pourable, and creamy. Adjust with a little more lemon juice and oil to get the consistency you like.
Step 2: Assemble the Salad Tower
First, cut the Romaine. Cut off the butt end. You'll notice that when you cross cut Romaine, it has a pretty star shape. We want to preserve the shape for this salad. When you make your one-inch cross cuts of washed Romaine, make sure to keep the star shape intact. Place the cross-cut lettuce onto a paper towe to drain. Carefully pick up the lettuce stars and place them in the center of cold salad plates. Spread 1 tablespoon of dressing on each star. Divide the parmesan shavings between the two salads, and create a thick layer over the dressing. Next, place the croutons into a zipper bag and hit lightly with a rolling pin to achieve course crouton crumbles. Spoon another tablespoon of dressing on each salad over the cheese. Carefully place the large crouton crumbles over the dressing so that it sticks to the dressing and doesn't fall onto the plate. Finally, top each salad tower with two anchovy fillets.
Eat this hearty salad with a steak knife and fork. Pair Caesar salad towers with Champagne. Enjoy!