Ah Caesar salad. One of the most classic salads. It’s a great side dish for steaks or burgers, but it’s also great on its own as a main. I used to joke that loving Caesar salad was genetic in my family because my siblings and I love it so much, we could probably eat it every day.
So obviously this salad is a common one around my house. I’d say the best Caesar salads come down to real ingredients. I know it’s a bit corny but it is so true. Use the best quality of everything you can afford, and don’t skimp on things like croutons or cheese.
Traditionally, romaine lettuce is used as the base for this ultra zesty and refreshing salad. I prefer kale, since it’s a bit of a stronger leaf that holds up well under creamy dressings. Also, it’s delicious and easier to stab with a fork. Bonus!
For the most satisfying caesars I always fry up real bacon for my bacon bits, and fry up some big delicious croutons. If you have a BBQ at your disposal and you are adding chicken to your salad, like I love to, then grilling the chicken is a scrumptious addition. And if you’re already turning on that grill then go ahead and throw an oiled up, thick slice of sourdough on there. Tear it up over your salad for over the top flavour. YUM!
Every so often I’ll add cucumber or tomatoes to my caesar salad. It’s not traditional at all but it gives the salad this awesome BLT vibe that I love. It’s also hard to say no when a perfect summer tomato is giving you the eye.
For those of you out there looking to really up your caesar game, definitely make your dressing yourself. It might seem like too much extra work, but it really only takes a couple minutes and is totally worth it. Mine is lemony, and savoury, and oh so creamy. It absolutely makes all the difference.
And finally, I cannot stress this enough, use fresh Parmesan! I know, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it makes caesars so much better. Those little flecks of salty cheesiness are to die for! Splurge on the cheese my friends!
Chicken Caesar Salad
- 1 cup Mayonnaise Homemade is always the best, but store bought is fine too.
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- Juice of one lemon About 1/4 cup
- 8 Anchovy fillets
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- A small handful Fresh Basil Leaves
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1 Large head of Kale, chopped Green or Red or a Mix
- 12 Strips of good bacon diced
- 2 thick slices of Sourdough Bread cubed. (about 2.5cups)
- 4 Cooked Chicken Breasts Sliced
- Good Parmesan for shaving on top
- Prepare the dressing first. It can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge in a jar if necessary.
- Combine all the ingredients, except salt and pepper, in a blender, or deep bowl if using an immersion blender. Blend until smooth, then season to your tastes. This dressing is lemony, so don’t be shocked by its kick.
- Start by frying your bacon pieces. Use a medium low heat, and fry until nice and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel lined bowl. Leave the fat in the pan!
- You want to fry your croutons in that tasty bacon fat. When the pan has heated back up, carefully toss in all your croutons. Stir a few times to coat in fat. Then only stir every 30 seconds or so to get all sides nice and crisp. Remove to another paper towel lined bowl and immediately sprinkle with a touch of sea salt.
- Add your kale to a large bowl. Toss in your bacon, croutons and about half of your dressing. You can always add more dressing, but you can’t take it away, so add it in stages until the salad is dressed to your liking.
- Toss everything together until thoroughly coated and combined.
- Divide onto plates and top each salad with a sliced chicken breast. Shave on as much Parmesan as you like, and serve!