The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Simple Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons


Sunday dreads sneaking up on me…you’d think after all these years I’d have come up with a strategy to deal with Sunday night?

Part of what makes me so blue on Sunday night is the imaginary (and real) To DO list in my head that I don’t seem to chip away at. Which is why I challenged myself to a salad a day in March. Knowing I’ve done one healthy thing for myself every day is a pick-me-up in itself. Anyway, make this salad & take it to lunch tomorrow. (Keep the dressing & croutons separate. Hell, skip the croutons or use store bought if you have no time to make them! But try to make them next time!)


If you are a Caesar salad purist (or snob), keep walking. Nothing to see here! This is a Caesar salad for people without much time, without any anchovies and who don’t want to eat raw eggs. (Though I have eaten and REALLY, REALLY enjoyed that kind of salad myself!) This is a Monday morning salad. Brighten up your lunch salad. Do something nice for yourself salad. Even when you’re in a rush salad.



3 hearts of Romaine

For the dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
5 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP mayonaise
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1/4 c parmesan cheese

For croutons:
2 c of firmly packed bread cut into 1/2″ cubes (a crusty loaf is ideal)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c olive oil
large pinch of salt

1. Cut the ends off the romaine and separate leaves into a large bowl. I used my salad spinner as even my wooden salad bowl is too small for these leaves.

2. In a small bowl, add half the minced garlic.

Add lemon juice, mayonnaise (sorry G!), olive oil & Worcestershire sauce to garlic and whisk together.

Isn’t this lemon gorge?? I picked it up at the Farmer’s Market yesterday after running like hell from the Cat in the Hat visit at the library. Kill me now.

While we’re on the topic of lemons, that reminds me, I picked up some limes at Trader Joe’s to make margaritas with last weekend. Trying to get juice from them was like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Holy schmoley! I think we ended up drinking tequila & cointreau with a hint of lime.

3. Meanwhile, in another small bowl pour 1/4 c olive oil alone with the other half of the minced garlic. Let the garlic infuse the oil. Just push it aside and don’t give it another thought. That will be for your croutons.

4. Drizzle lettuce with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste and toss lightly. Use your hands if you have to and don’t have too many rings on which could be gnarly.

5. Drizzle some of the dressing (depending how much you like) over the lettuce and toss lightly again.

You can probably tell I added black pepper to the dressing but that’s b/c I like a lot of black pepper. Feel free to do that or not!

6. Sprinkle parmesan over lettuce and toss for the final time.

7. Back to the croutons. Are you with me? Drizzle remaining olive oil over bread cubes & toss with a large pinch of salt.

Spread out evenly on a baking sheet.

I baked them in my toaster oven since it was such a small amount. 375 for about 12 minutes. Taste one of the croutons after 12 minutes. If they are chewy, bake another 2 minutes. They should be crunchy.

8. Sprinkle croutons over lettuce. Serve!

Secret: The first time I made this I didn’t read the directions very closely and combined all the dressing ingredients at once: salt & pepper, olive oil, mayo, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. I even threw in 1/4 c grated parmesan. It came out EXCELLENT!! Today I actually read the directions (except I did the croutons a different way that seemed less labor intensive to me) and it also came out excellent. In the printable recipe, I give you the fast way. After making it the second time, I think I prefer the way I made it the first time simply because it’s quicker.

Simple Caesar Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

Simple, fresh Caesar salad to get your week started right! I sweet side salad for a luncheon or shower…
  • 3 hearts of Romaine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP mayonaise
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • ¼ c parmesan cheese
  • 2 c of firmly packed bread cut into ½” cubes (a crusty loaf is ideal)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • large pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 (for croutons.)
  2. Chop ends off of Romaine hearts and separate leaves into a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 cloves minced garlic, lemon juice, 5 TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP mayonaise, ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ¼ tsp salt and black pepper.
  4. Drizzle dressing over lettuce. Toss gently (can use your hands). Sprinkle parmesan cheese and toss again.
  5. Combine 2 cloves minced garlic to ¼ c olive oil and allow a few minutes for the garlic to infuse the oil. Drizzle over bread cubes and toss with a generous pinch of salt.
  6. Spread bread evenly on baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes. Test one crouton. Should be crunchy, not chewy. If it’s chewy, bake for another 2 minutes and test.
  7. Sprinkle croutons over lettuce and serve immediately.


Adapted from The Other Pamela Anderson

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2 comments on Simple Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

  1. Lib
    March 5, 2012 at 2:35 am (3248 days ago)

    That looks amazing, and we LOVE Caesar salad here… I personally would like to see a margarita recipe here…. :) And, yes, who the HELL wants to see that Cat in the Hat? She was SCARY! :)

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