salade césar croutons brioches

Caesar Brioche Salad with Croutons

This recipe solves two common problems with classic Caesar salad. The first is that although the croutons add texture, they’re often bland. The second is that many people think they don’t like anchovies. To “disguise” them and boost the croutons’ flavor, I season the bread cubes with anchovies pureed with garlic, lemon zest, and mustard. Once toasted, the croutons burst with a rich, savory taste that even non-anchovy lovers like.

I like brioche for croutons because it offers a slightly softer crunch. The salad on its own makes a fine lunch, but you can add grilled shrimp or chicken. Note that the bread needs to soak in the anchovy puree for at least 6 hours.




Number of persons

Serves 6


8 ounces (225 g) Brioche or other brioche, cut into 2½-inch (6.5-cm)-thick slices
12 oil-packed anchovies
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
Finely grated lemon zest from 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon (5 g) Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons (90 ml) water
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (133 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (20 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) honey
Fine sea salt
3 romaine hearts, leaves separated and roughly torn


Place the bread in a shallow dish large enough to hold the slices in a single layer.


In a blender, combine the anchovies, garlic, lemon zest, mustard, and water and puree until smooth.


Season to taste with pepper. Pour half of the puree over the brioche, turn the slices over, and pour over the remaining puree. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and up to 24 hours.


Preheat the broiler.


Tear the brioche into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and sprinkle with the cheese. Broil, tossing once or twice, until the bread is toasted and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.


In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil, and the honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the romaine and toss well.


Serve the salad topped with the croutons and sprinkled with more cheese.