Print Recipe Caesar Salad with Big Chile Croutons
- 2 large heads romaine lettuce
- Caesar Dressing recipe below
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 24 Big Chile Croutons recipe below
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets chopped
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Pepper Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Big Chile Croutons
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Italian red chile paste
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed through a press
- 24 1-inch cubes day-old crust-on, peasant style bread preferably semolina
For the Salad:
- Separate the heads of romaine, discarding any tough or browned outer leaves. Cut off the tough stems from the remaining leaves. Halve the leaves lengthwise, then cut them crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces. There should be about 20 cups of lettuce pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the dressing. Add the cheese and the croutons and toss again. Divide the salad and the croutons among chilled plates and serve immediately, passing a pepper mill at the table.
For the Caesar Dressing:
- In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, cheese, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, Tabasco, Worcestershire and black pepper; process until smooth. Adjust the seasoning. The dressing can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Let the dressing come to room temperature before using.
For the Big Chile Croutons:
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, stir together the olive oil, chile paste and garlic. Add the bread cubes and toss well to moisten evenly. If necessary, let the cubes stand, stirring occasionally, until all the oil is absorbed.
- Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly roll pan (or on top of a parchment-lined sheet pan). Bake, turning occasionally, until the croutons are lightly but evenly browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use warm, or wrap airtight and store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.