Holiday Thyme Caesar Salad

Holiday Thyme Caesar Salad
4.5 from 2 ratings
During this holiday season, you can still eat healthily and enjoy a thyme caesar salad. This recipe is courtesy of  JeanMarie Brownson and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 2 large heads of red radicchio
  • 4 cup 1-inch cubes of hearty bread, such as three-cheese semolina or whole-grain artisan bread
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup caesar dressing, recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup large shreds of parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • several thyme sprigs for garnish
  • 1 large lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 2-ounce can of anchovies, drained of oil
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon refrigerated lemongrass puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
  1. Use a paring knife to remove the core from the 2 heads of radicchio. Tear the radicchio leaves into large pieces, and place in a colander. You’ll have about 12 cups. Rinse under cool water, and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with clean toweling. Place the radicchio in a food-safe plastic bag or container lined with paper toweling. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour or up to several days.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place 4 cups of bread cubes on a large baking sheet. Add olive oil, and toss to coat.
  4. Bake, stirring often, until croutons are nicely golden on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool completely, and store in a covered container at room temperature for up to several days.
  5. Just before serving, have all the salad components ready. Place the radicchio in a large bowl, and drizzle on the salad dressing.
  6. Use tongs to toss the radicchio until it is coated with the dressing.
  7. Transfer to a large platter or serving bowl.
  8. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves, croutons and cheese. Sprinkle with pepper.
  9. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve immediately.
  10. Use a Microplane to grate about 1/2 teaspoon of the yellow part of the lemon rind into a small bowl.
  11. Squeeze the lemon(s) into a glass measuring cup until you have about 1/4 cup.
  12. With the blender running, drop 4 cloves of garlic through the feed tube to chop it.
  13. Add the lemon juice, 1 ounce of anchovies, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire and 1 teaspoon lemongrass puree.
  14. Blend until smooth.
  15. Coddle 2 eggs in the microwave: Break eggs into a small bowl leaving the yolks whole. Microwave on medium power (50 percent) for 30 to 40 seconds; watch closely, or the egg will overcook. The white should be barely opaque, and the yolk still runny.
  16. Add the softly cooked eggs to the blender.
  17. Turn the blender on, and stream in 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil by slowing pouring it in through the lid with the blender running.
  18. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt; blend, then taste and adjust salt again as needed.
  19. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  20. Add the grated lemon rind and 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves.
  21. Close the jar and shake well.
  22. Store in the refrigerator up to several days. Use at room temperature.