Cool weather crops dominate both spring and fall in Central Texas. With the return of romaine lettuce comes a hunger for old fashioned Caesar salad sans raw egg.
2 cups white or sour dough bread torn into 1/2-inch chunks
2 heads romaine lettuce, tender inside leaves only
2 - 3 anchovies
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus some for the bread
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread chunks with olive oil, garlic powder and any other herbs and spices to taste. We use Herbes de Tejas, a blend of thyme, lavender, basil, sage, savory, rosemary, garlic, chives, jalapeno crafted by Lake Travis Lavender. When well coated, spread evenly on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. 10 or 12 minutes. Stir once during baking to make sure they brown evenly.
2. Combine lemon juice, garlic, anchovies and half the oil in a food processor and mix well. Add Tabasco, Worcestershire, mustard, the remainder of olive oil with grated Parmesan and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. Tear the inside leaves of the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Toss with dressing until all the pieces are evenly coated. Toss in the garlic croutons. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste and top lightly with shaved Parmesan.
~Adapted from Rachel Ray