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Give Your Caesar Salad A Crunchy Texture Upgrade With Toasted Breadcrumbs

caesar salad with breadcrumbs
caesar salad with breadcrumbs - Candice Bell/Shutterstock

It is no surprise that the classic Caesar salad is, to many, the quintessential salad. The combination of crisp, green lettuce, savory dressing, and salty cheese creates a dining experience that is at once hearty yet light and with a creamy yet refreshing texture. The salad recipe's simplicity is part of its beauty, which is why if you want to change up your recipe for this salad, those modifications need to be equally simple. This is the philosophy behind our recommendation to enhance your next Caesar salad with the addition of breadcrumbs.

Odds are, if you have eaten enough salads, you are familiar with croutons. These are the go-to garnish for many leafy greens. However, we can't recommend them. Croutons can be large and unwieldy, making them hard to get at with a fork and frustrating to eat. They don't as much complement a salad as much as they distract from one. This is where toasted breadcrumbs come into play. Toasted breadcrumbs provide the same indulgent, starchy flavor and satisfyingly crunchy texture as traditional croutons, but on a scale that provides more consistent coverage across the entire dish and eliminates overwhelming bites where crouton is all you can taste.

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How To Make Toasted Breadcrumbs

toasted breadcrumbs in pan
toasted breadcrumbs in pan - Flystock/Shutterstock

Toasted breadcrumbs are just as easy to make as croutons, if not easier. All you need to do is get your hands on some breadcrumbs — panko breadcrumbs are our favorite, any substitute will do — and add them to a pan on medium heat along with a little bit of butter or oil. Allow the breadcrumbs to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When they take on a gorgeous, golden brown color, they are ready. Allow them to cool to room temperature and then sprinkle them on top of your salad directly before serving so that they don't have time to get soggy.

Making your own toasted breadcrumbs is a great opportunity to infuse your salad with even more flavor by seasoning the breadcrumbs as they cook. Salt and pepper are obvious additions, but you can add some extra zing with the inclusion of garlic or onion powder. Another option is to add some savoriness with a dash of smoked paprika. More adventurous palates may enjoy introducing a bit of heat by seasoning the mixture with red pepper flakes or chili powder. If adding breadcrumbs gets you excited to elevate your greens even further, we recommend that you check out this hack that makes Caesar salad taste even better — grilling the lettuce for a unique flavor that you won't forget. After replacing your croutons with toasted breadcrumbs, you probably won't forget to make that switch again either.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.