Caesar SaladEstimated Cost:  $5.00

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Total Time:  15 minutes

Serves:  4

Without question my favorite green salad.  The salad’s creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States.  His daughter Rosa recounted that her father invented the dish when a Fourth of July 1924 rush depleted the kitchen’s supplies. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing “by the chef.”

I’m usually dramatic enough, when entertaining guests, that I can get away with tossing in the kitchen then serving.

1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (how to)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground mustard
1 bag (1 lb.) chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups Italian croutons

1. In a small bowl, cheese, mayonnaise, water, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and mustard; mix until creamy.

2. In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuce and dressing; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with Italian croutons. Serve immediately.

Mike’s comments:

For a little extra wow-factor, I like to heat the croutons in the oven (350°F) for 5 minutes just before adding to the salad.