A friend told me the other day that one of her favorite meals for lunch is caesar salad. And that the Vermont restaurant she went to near where she lived served “limp lettuce” and the dressing wasn’t very tasty. She said she “loved anchovies” – which coincided with her affection for oysters, clams and other seafood that I also love. We go out for lunch together every two weeks or so when we meet up at an antiques group shop that she runs in New Hampshire.
So today, I bought some buttermilk and a tin of flat anchovies at the grocery store. I rinsed out my small size red Cuisinart food processor and dried it before adding in the following:
2 fresh cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and ends trimmed
2 fillets of anchovies
Whizzed those ingredients in the small processor; then added:
scant cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (on a microplane)
small dash of Worcestershire sauce
coarse black pepper (there’s already a lot of salt in the anchovies and parmesan)
1/4 cup of fresh buttermilk (Kate’s)
Blended all of the above in the processor and tasted it: DIVINE!! added a little more buttermilk to thin it out and poured into a clean glass jar.
The recipe I followed (and tweaked) mentioned the dressing is better after it sits in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. It also stated that it would hard to resist dipping a spoon into it for a taste (it’s so good!)
I closed up the tin of flat anchovies and wrapped it tightly in a plastic bag, storing it in the freezer door for future use.
I wanted to try it out for lunch and opened up some hearts of romaine. Into my favorite green bowl, I broke some of the tender center leaves into bite size pieces, added garlic croutons and a few salad shrimp. After adding the dressing and tossing, I grated a little parmesan cheese on top.
It tasted scrumptious! light, tasty and satisfying. The dressing is a keeper recipe for sure and the green salad base could be a supper one-bowl dish with some grilled salmon or teriyaki chicken tenders on top. Yum!
Postscript (a week later): I’ve just made this salad dressing again and have tweaked it slightly. To me, the flavors are a little stronger, more piquant and so tasty that I have to go and have a spoonful every once in awhile. Stored in a glass jar (previous salsa size) with a screw top:
4-5 fillets of anchovies; 3 cloves of garlic, smashed and cut up; (run through small food processor before adding other ingredients.) Add 1/3 cup shredded romano cheese and process with the garlic/anchovy mixture. Then add cup of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of Poupon dijon mustard, splash of Worcestershire sauce, Maldon salt and coarse pepper; 1/4 cup of cream/milk. Run processor until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Add more cream (or buttermilk) if too thick. Pour into glass jar and lick the bowl.