4cupsRomaine lettucewashed and hand torn or chopped into bite-size pieces
2tablespoonsparmesan cheesefreshly grated, to taste
¼cupfeta cheesecrumbled, to taste
fresh cracked black pepperto taste
Make The Creamy Caesar Dressing
In a small bowl, using a whisk, combine the lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and Dijon mustard; whisk well. Add in mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt), whisking until well incorporated and creamy. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Wrap or pour the dressing into a jar and place the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Brown The Pepperonis
Place the pepperoni slices into a small non-stick pan over the lowest heat setting your stove allows. Turn the pepperoni slices over about halfway through the cooking. Usually, the pepperonis will curl up like bowls. This is usually a good time to flip them over onto the other side. This will help them to collapse and become flat again.
The pepperonis are done, when the color turns from bright red to a rusty-brown color the oil sheen on the surface turns opaque and they harden and become crisp. The oil will also start to smoke slightly as well. This is also another indicator that the pepperonis are ready.
When the pepperonis are done, remove the pan from the heat. Using tongs, lift each pepperoni out of the pan and set them onto some paper towels to drain and cool completely.
Once the pepperonis are cool, ball up the paper towel with your hand and crumble the pepperonis into bits.
Make the Really Easy Homemade Croutons
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Using a bread knife, cut the bread into uniform bite-size cubes (or tear the bread with your hands) to make about 3 cups of bread cubes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Season with kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Add two cloves of smashed garlic to the seasoned melted butter and olive oil mixture. Simmer until the garlic is fragrant; about 1 minute, but DO NOT BROWN. (Browning garlic makes it bitter.) Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Remove the garlic cloves and discard.
In a large bowl, slowly pour the seasoned oil mixture over the bread cubes. Toss the bread until well combined.
Line a sheet pan large enough to spread the croutons out with parchment paper. Turn the croutons out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread the croutons out in a single layer, allowing as much space as possible between the bread cubes.
Start out baking for 10 minutes. Then give the bread cubes a stir. This will give you an idea of how things are going. Continue to bake the cubes, until dry and light golden brown in color, an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
Allow the croutons to cool before adding to cold salads, or they could cause your lettuce to wilt.
Put The Caesar Salad Together
Chop or tear the lettuce into bite side pieces. Wash and spin the lettuce dry with a salad spinner. Distribute it evenly into individual serving bowls.
Crumble the feta cheese equally into each bowl.
Grate the Parmesan cheese into each bowl using a Microplane.
Place the salads inside the refrigerator to chill, until needed.
How To Serve The Caesar Salad
When you are ready to serve the salads, give the dressing a final whisk and add on the final ingredients. Sprinkle half of the pepperoni bits equally onto each salad.
Top each salad with croutons, a dollop of creamy caesar dressing, and finish with a little fresh cracked pepper, to taste.
Serve and enjoy!
The Creamy Caesar Dressing:
A Lighter Option: *Nutrition Label based on mayonnaise. To make a lighter version of this recipe, use Plain Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise. It practically cuts the calories in half!
Don’t Like Anchovies? You can totally leave the anchovies out and add a pinch of salt in their place. If you leave the anchovies out, you can store the dressing in the refrigerator for about 7 to 10 days without the overpowering fish taste.
Storage: Store any unused dressing inside the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. If you store it too long the anchovies make the dressing rather fishy.
The trick is to crisp the pepperonis without burning the oils that render from the meat while cooking. This slow cooking process sometimes can take up to 30 minutes, but it is worth it for crispy pepperoni.
Allow the croutons cool completely and store in a sealed container for up to two weeks.
Alternatively, you could add them to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and freeze for several weeks to a year! To use from the freezer, heat them in the oven on a sheet pan until they are warm in crisp again.
Nutrition Facts: Calories are based on using ½ the dressing. This salad recipe makes 4 salads so you should only need about half of the dressing. For more information on nutrition, visit our Policies & Disclaimers Page.
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