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March 23, 2015

mortar & pestle caesar



I’ve been making this salad for years. The recipe changes every time but this was a solid version. We like to change up the greens for our caesar salad (arugula, romaine, kale…you name it) and with a large new crop of spring greens this was the perfect time to do it. What makes this recipe special is that I melt the anchovies and slightly brown the garlic. It mellows the flavors enough that the girls even love the taste. The mortar and pestle creates an almost paste-like consistency that then transforms into a lemon-y sea salt-y umami drizzle rather than a thick and clumpy traditional caesar dressing.


4 TBSP olive oil (divided)
3  cloves garlic (smashed)
4 anchovies chopped
1 egg yolk
1 tsp dijon mustard
juice of one lemon
3 TBSP canola oil
salt freshly cracked pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan, plus 1/3 cup shaved or grated parmesan for topping
3 pinches cayenne
4 slices white artisan sliced bread cut into about 1″ squares (such as pan de miel)


Heat oven to 350. Toss 1″ bread pieces with 2 TBSP olive oil cayenne, salt and cracked pepper. Make sure the bread is coated with oil and seasoning. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown (flip once) to make sure both sides are golden brown. Let cool. Heat a skillet with remaining 2 TBSP of olive oil. Add smashed garlic and anchovies. Cook on medium/ medium low until the anchovies appear to have melted (broken apart into little bits) and garlic starts to turn slightly golden. Remove pan from heat and pour the mixture in to a medium or large mortar and pestle. Start to grind and blend the mixture, breaking up the garlic cloves and turning it into a paste. Add mustard and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Continue blending. Once the mixture is broken down and paste-y, add in the egg yolk. Chances are the mixture has fully cooled by now, but I always mix fast just in case. Then squeeze the juice of one lemon in. Continue to mix. Drizzle canola oil in and continue to mix. The mixture will probably be thin, that’s way the first round of cheese is for. Add grated parmesan and blend. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.  To serve: toss greens with dressing and top with the remaining parmesan and croutons. This salad is amazing with grill chicken on top for a meal.



comments & questions

  1. Aimee, Wow, Wow, Wow, made the avocado toast for bridge last night and the ladies loved it. Thanks for a great recipe. love you fawn

    Posted March 24, 2015 by fawn
    1. so glad you ladies loved it. happy you all are keeping it real with bridge club in schulenburg! xo

      Posted March 24, 2015 by aimee heimbinder

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