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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Short Cut Chopped Caesar Salad

My new obsession, this Short Cut Chopped Caesar Salad.
All the taste, without all the fuss.

short cut chopped caesar salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

There are a few foods in my life that I am currently obsessed with...

1.  Buffalo wings.  Boneless, on the bone, I'm impartial.

2.  Ice cold water.  In my thermos all day long.

3.  Farm fresh eggs.  I'm currently getting about 4 dozen every two weeks.

4.  Wraps for lunch.  Tortilla, cheese, turkey, spinach.  Simple and yummy.

5.  Caesar salads.

I'm a bit perplexed why Caesar Salads have been on my brain lately.  I never, ever used to make them, let alone order one at a restaurant.  In fact, I may have turned my nose up at them.

Then one day I ordered one at Panera Bread when meeting a friend for lunch.  The conversation stopped and I got lost in the salad.  I'm pretty sure I was licking my bowl clean. From that moment on I seemed to order one each time I went out to eat.

short cut chopped caesar salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I believe the two secret ingredients to a great Caesar salad are garlic and the anchovies. Well, low and behold I do not keep anchovies or anchovy paste in my house.  I know for a FACT my small town grocery store does not carry it.

But, I really, really wanted a Caesar salad, so what was I to do?


I Googled, scanned some Pinterest recipes and browsed a few cookbooks and came to the conclusion that I would just make my own "dressing" for this salad and see if a homemade short cut version would be worth eating.

short cut chopped caesar salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It was worth it.

It's tangy, peppery, creamy and delicious.  Oh, and did I mention you have to have fresh Parmesan cheese?  You have to have it.  Don't skimp on this ingredient.  I should actually list fresh Parmesan cheese as the 6th food I'm obsessed with lately.  Yes, it should be on the list too.  I'm adding it to everything.

Oh, and the croutons.  You cannot have a Caesar salad without croutons.  You need the crunch.  You need the salt.  You need THEM.

I have made this salad three times in the last three weeks {for those counting, that is once a week}.  Once to take to a friends for a barbecue and two times just for us at dinner.  The husband and I have split a whole bowl of this {and I'm not usually a huge salad person}.

The kids even ate it!

short cut chopped caesar salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

And just a tip.  If you are making this for a crowd or taking it somewhere, simply mix up the dressing in a small mason jar and refrigerate.  Grab that jar and the lettuce, fresh Parm and croutons before you walk out the door and simply mix it all up right before serving.

I've done this and it works perfectly!

Short Cut Chopped Caesar Salad

1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. mayo
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. spicy brown mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
dash of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

1.  In a bowl {or mason jar if traveling}, combine the Parm, mayo, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Set aside or refrigerate until later.
2.  In a large bowl place the chopped lettuce and half of the croutons.  Pour in the dressing and toss to combine.
3.  Garnish with extra croutons and additional Parmesan cheese.
4.  Serve immediately.

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