This famous salad, which used to be served table side in fancy restaurants in the ’60s, faded out of fashion in the ’70s, and came back in the ’80s. Whether in or out of fashion, Caesar salad is easy and fun to make for a supper by itself or to precede a light dish. You can toast the bread rather than make croutons, but be sure to rub a cut clove of garlic over the bread. If you don’t like anchovies, you can substitute a teaspoon of bottled Worcestershire sauce. Be sure to grate additional cheese on each salad.
Romaine lettuce is a must for this salad because it can withstand being tossed with dressing three times.—Mary Risley
Raw Egg Reminder Note: Hey, in case you hadn’t noticed, this recipe contains raw egg. Please be mindful if making it for anyone for whom this is a potential no-no.
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound crusty country bread, sliced and broken into 1 to 2-inch cubes
6 to 10 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 large egg
2 heads Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into 2-inch lengths
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the croutons, slice two of the garlic cloves and put them in a large bowl with the 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss in the bread and coat with the oil. Place the bread on a baking sheet in a 350§F oven, and stir from time to time, until the bread is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Return the croutons to the bowl and throw away the garlic slices.
2. To make the salad, finely mince the remaining garlic clove with the anchovy fillets. Put these in the bottom of a large salad bowl with the dry mustard and mash with a fork. Mix in the 1/4 cup olive oil. Break the egg into the center of the mixture. Squeeze the lemon juice directly onto the uncooked egg. Mix together the lemon juice and egg with a fork before incorporating the other ingredients.
3. Put the lettuce on top of the dressing and toss with salad servers until the lettuce is coated with the dressing. Add the Parmesan and lots of freshly ground black pepper and toss again. Add the croutons and toss a third time. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve on salad plates.
Note: The best way to wash lettuce is to separate each leaf, run it under cold water, tear it into pieces, dry it in a salad spinner, and store it in a towel until ready to use. You must look at each piece to check for browning, dirt, or bugs. Some people prefer to cook the egg for a minute before proceeding with the recipe. I find this an unnecessary extra step because I think the lemon juice essentially “cooks” the egg. However, it is very important that a recipe calling for raw eggs be served only at home. In professional kitchens, pasteurized eggs must be used to prevent any chance of contamination.
Recipe © 2003 Mary Risley. All rights reserved.