Here is a great little recipe to have in your arsenal. I think everybody should have at least a couple of quick but delicious homemade salad dressings that they can whip up in a flash. Why? Oh, I guess I just think the flavor is exponentially better than anything in the store, and the ingredients are honest. I personally love to play with flavors, and I find that sauces and dressings are a great way to test your palate. It’s fun throwing a few ingredients together and then tasting for balance. I guess it’s the way I have always cooked.
This particular recipe came about mostly because I wanted to show a few of our Zesties (our term of endearment for our employees and interns) how to cook with anchovies. So many people are afraid of these little fishies. It’s kind of funny….I think anchovies have become what Polka became to music and fruitcake to the holidays. Enough people not understanding the darn little swimmers and how to harness their unique flavor for a dish, and they suddenly became the brunt of culinary humor. You know what I mean….anchovies on pizza, right? Well, the good news here is that a few anchovy filets will help you whip up a stellar Caesar dressing in a flash! I mean this stuff is addicting and easy (which is addicting, too)!
3 tbls olive oil
4 filets of anchovies
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
3 tbls parmesan
1/4 tsp black pepper
Here is my favorite part. Warm a skillet and then add your olive oil. Once the olive oil has warmed, go ahead and add your whole anchovy filets. As they heat up, you will see them start to melt and create a sauce before your eyes. No chopping, pulsing, or mincing needed! This technique is wonderful for adding a deep salty flavor note to a lot of sauces. Case in point, if you haven’t tried Puttanesca sauce yet, then you have just got to! Not only is the anchovy component in the background excellent, but it is literally translated as “spaghetti in the style of a prostitute.” Seriously, you have got to try it sometime. But I digress…back to my cheat-sheet Caesar.
Turn the heat down a bit on your skillet and add your chopped garlic.
While the garlic simmers and warms, grab your lemon and mayonnaise to make your dressing base. This is why I call it my “cheat” homemade Caesar. No emulsifying, just quickly combine.
Now, add in the key ingredient: parmesan. A little goes a long way with flavor here.
Add in your black pepper and then your anchovy “sauce.”
Whisk it up and viola! Deliciousness just waiting for some crisp romaine.
I guarantee that you will love the bright zing that this Caesar dressing gives to your tastebuds. Oh, and the Zesties could not believe how easy and fast it was to create. Could be a perfect little magic trick for a romantic dinner in.
P.S. If you haven’t guessed, I am one of those weirdos who LOVES anchovies on her pizza!