Caesar salad is one of my favorites, and when you add salmon it becomes an all around amazing meal. While this recipe is a little more in depth than a standard salad, it is absolutely worth the extra effort.
The most important thing about making a quality salad it to make sure that all of the ingredients are top notch; starting with the croutons. Home making your croutons is not a step to skip because they are crunchy, but still soft and bread-like in the middle. It doesn’t sound like anything too spectacular, but trust me; nothing beats home baked croutons!
The kind of bread you use doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s “fresh” baked; meaning, not the kind of bread you’d buy for your kid’s pb&j.
I got a loaf of Focaccia on sale, so that’s what I used today, but I’ve made them with all different kinds of bread and they always turn out awesome- use whatever!
Just cut that up into bite size pieces and throw them right on a baking sheet. I toss them right on the sheet (less dishes!) with oil, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), onion powder, and oregano and then bake.
While they’re baking, you want to get started on the best part- the salmon! It’s not AS important, but try to use wild caught versus farm raised. If you don’t know why, it’s a subject worth looking into.
As always, salt and pepper both sides. If yours came skin-on, put that side down first. The skin will peel right off once it’s cooked.
You want oil your pan and make sure it’s hot before adding the fish. That will help the outside get browned and a little crispy. If you’re not familiar with cooking fish, allow it to cook well on both sides because you want to avoid turning it. Cooking off the skin is the only exception to this rule-then you flip 3 times!
Once it’s done, take it out of the pan and let it cool a little while you work on putting the salad together.
Try to contain your drool.
The salad is the quickest part, because it’s really just tossing some stuff together. Romaine is the best lettuce for Caesar because it’s delicious and it holds its own against the other ingredients. Chop it up into thin strips to avoid huge awkward pieces that don’t fit in your mouth.
As far as the dressing, you can use your favorite bottled Caesar. I prefer this stuff because it’s creamy and bold and AWESOME.
It’s a little more expensive than your big commercial brands, but a little goes a long way. I only use about 1/4 cup for an entire head of Romaine. The key is to NOT drizzle it over top. That’s my biggest salad peeve. There is no uniformity to that whatsoever so just don’t do it. Toss your cut lettuce in the dressing and let it coat every inch.
By now, your croutons should be done so take them out and let them cool for a couple minutes. I like to put the salad together while everything is still warm. The contrast of temperatures just adds an extra pop.
All that’s left is to put it all together.
Start with your lettuce on a plate (or a gigantic bowl-you’re going to want a LOT) and top with cheese, croutons, and ultimately the salmon.
For the cheese- try to use good, shaved Parmesan. The bigger pieces add a ton of flavor to each bite.
Some people cut the salmon into strips, but I like to pull it apart. Mostly because I have no patience.
This is a great weekend lunch or weeknight meal. It’s also totally acceptable to serve if you’re having guests over. You’ll be able to brag about your skills when you tell them you made the croutons, and anything with fresh shave cheese immediately becomes a sophisticated meal.
Good luck sharing though.
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 medium salmon portion (about 1/2 lb)
1/4 cup Caesar dressing
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
2 cups cubed bread
2 tsp each onion powder and oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
For the croutons; toss all ingredients together on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
Salt and pepper both sides of your salmon and sear over medium heat until cooked and both sides are just browned.
Cut lettuce into strips and toss with dressing. Top with cheese, croutons, and warm salmon just before serving.