Creamy Caesar Salad with Toasted Almonds

This salad is all about the dressing accented by the nutty crunch of toasted almonds.  Sof t boiled eggs add a creamy texture to the dressing that pairs well with the burst of saltiness from the shaved Parmesan cheese.  The recipe calls for Romain hearts, but try it on butter lettuce or a platter of sliced tomatoes.  

Creamy Caesar Salad with Toasted Almonds

Servings: 6

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon anchovy paste

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 large cloves garlic, peeled

2 large eggs

1/3 cup olive oil

2 Romaine hearts, leaves separated

Freshly cracked black pepper for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish

2 oz. shaved Parmesan (about ¾ cup)

1. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat.  Add the almonds in a single layer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden in color, about 3-5 minutes.

2. Immediately transfer to a plate to cool.  (If your almond slices contain many broken little pieces, there will be variations of brown colored almonds. Remove any pieces that are too dark.)

3. In a blender add the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, salt and pepper. Set aside.  Place the garlic cloves in a saucepan of water and bring to a boil.  When boiling, carefully lower the eggs, in their shells, into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Leave the garlic cloves in the water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a strainer and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Crack the eggs onto a small saucer using a spoon to scrape out the egg white clinging to the shells. Discard one of the yolks and add the eggs on the saucer into the blender.

4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the blender.  Purée on medium-high speed to combine, 10-15 seconds.  

5. With the blender on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Increase speed to high, and blend until emulsified and creamy, 20-30 seconds.

6. Refrigerate until ready to serve, 1 hour and up to 1 day ahead.

7. Separate, rinse and dry the crispy interior Romaine leaves.  Arrange half of the Romaine leaves on a platter in a single layer.

8. Drizzle half the dressing on the Romaine leaves. Season with freshly cracked pepper, and squeeze lemon juice over top.

9. Scatter half of the shaved cheese and the toasted almonds on the dressed lettuce. Repeat and create a second layer with the remaining lettuce, dressing, almonds, and cheese.  Season with more pepper and serve with lemon wedges. 

Do Ahead:

The toasted almonds can be prepared ahead, and stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

The Parmesan cheese can be shaved into long curls with a vegetable peeler and stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to a week.

The Creamy Caesar Dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.