Have you ever tried a Caesar salad prepared tableside for you at a restaurant and thought, “Wow, that’s delicious but there is no way I’m trying to duplicate that song and dance at home”?
Do you sometimes struggle to pair wine with salad? (Spoiler alert: everyone does).
This may sound like the beginning of a wine-and-food-themed infomercial, and you may not have ever felt either of the above, but these are the sorts of things that keep us up at night at Melier.
Enter: The Makings of the Perfect Caesar Dressing
When I was a kid, we had this old, wooden salad bowl. It wasn’t pretty or fancy, but there was something so satisfying about its simplicity. I recall watching my grandmother and my mother make Caesar dressing in it. They would start by rubbing a garlic clove around the bowl to give the “essence” of garlic without the pungency of it. There seemed to be a whole bunch of ingredients after that – egg yolk, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, perhaps anchovy… It was delicious, but it looked like a hell of a lot of work.
Years later, my mom served a Caesar salad at dinner that was quite honestly transcendental. She served it in that same bowl, but the dressing was… different. Creamier. Brighter. Garlicky-er. More comforting, somehow. It tasted like the best restaurant-Caesar dressing ever had made babies with the best, premium bottled Caesar dressing ever, resulting in a bigger, better, more legendary Caesar dressing.
After plying her with several glasses of wine, I got her to confess – it was indeed a different recipe. A simpler one, made with ingredients on-hand. And she shared it with me… which I now pass on to you.
For a fun and wine-filled tutorial of how to prep this game-changing dressing, check out our video HERE.
First things first. What are we drinking?
To prep this salad, I cracked open (yep, it was a screw cap) a bottle of Smith Devereux’s 2018 California White Wine – the perfect, crisp, light salad wine, and a delightful kitchen sipper to boot.
This wine is a proprietary blend full of citrus, stone fruit, and ripe apple notes, with a rush of mouth-watering freshness that begs it to be paired with something creamy… like a Caesar salad. It gives the impression of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Blanc wrapped up in one – like a kiss of freshly squeezed lemon in a salad dressing, which is why I chose it for this recipe.
Here’s what you’ll need for the dressing:
- 1 clove of garlic (or more if you like your breath to be smelled in the next zip code), minced
- ¼ cup of white wine vinegar (regular white vinegar works too)
- 1 cup of mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, or a mix of the two
- ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Salt & pepper to taste
You have three options to mix: Throw everything in a blender and let ‘er rip; throw everything in a large Mason jar and shake it like a polaroid picture; or go old school and whisk all that good stuff in a regular bowl.
You will be tempted to just spoon it from the bowl into your mouth like yogurt, but drizzle it on a salad of crisp romaine lettuce, raw mushrooms sliced razor thin, and a handful of croutons, and you’ve got yourself a dreamy Caesar. Want to make a meal out of it? Grab a rotisserie chicken, shred it up, and throw it on top of that salad. Pour a glass of wine. Happiness will ensue.
Trust me when I say this will change your life. It will impress your friends. Wow your spouse. Inspire you to audition for the next season of Chopped.
Now pour yourself another glass of wine as a reward. You earned it, Chef.
Got a favorite offbeat wine pairing? Let us know @joinmelier!