Brannon's Caesar Salad

by Shauna Niequest, author of Bread & Wine - all seen on Strawberries & Yogurt

This isn’t a conventional Caesar dressing—it doesn’t call for eggs or anchovies, which makes it a great choice for pregnant women and non-anchovy lovers. One friend who tasted it said it’s like Caesar and vinaigrette got married and had a baby. Yes, just like that. It’s bright and flavorful and a touch spicy, and we ask Brannon to make it at every possible opportunity. This salad provides the perfect occasion to use up frozen bread cubes, and because romaine is hearty and the croutons are homemade and crusty, it’s a great option for picnics or open houses. 


2 hearts of romaine, washed, dried, and torn in to bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus two more Tbsp for the dressing and the croutons (see below)


1 garlic clove
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon
   A few dashes of Tabasco, to taste 
   Juice of half a lemon
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp sugar


4 cups bread cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
   Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the frozen bread cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Bake until crispy and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Chop garlic clove in food processor, then add remaining ingredients and blend together. Or chop a garlic clove, drop it into the bottom of an old pickle jar or jelly jar, add everything else, and shake like crazy.
  4. Toss the romain lettuce with Parmesan croutons, grated Parmesan, and dressing. 

Serves 6 to 8