Friday, January 13, 2017

CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD

The Caesar Salad was created in the 1920s by Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant and restauranteur. My recipe uses a hard boiled egg yolk to avoid any concerns about the possibility of salmonella bacteria in eggs.

Lee's Kitchen Hints: To crisp up any limp lettuce, first soak the leaves in a bowl of luke warm water for 5 minutes. This allows the cells (or pores) in the lettuce to soak up the water and become plump. Drain the lettuce and now soak in ice cold water for another 5 minutes. This allows the cells to close and the results will be crisp lettuce. Spin dry and place in a salad bowl. Any leftover lettuce can be refrigerated in a plastic baggie with a paper towel wrapped around the lettuce.


2 cups (500 ml) cubed (½-inch) crusty Italian bread
1 T (15 ml) extra-light olive oil

2 heads Romaine lettuce, torn or cut into bite-size pieces

Dressing
1 large egg
2 to 3 anchovy fillets (depending upon your taste)
3 cloves garlic
2 T (30 ml) champagne or white wine vinegar
2 T (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 t (10 ml) Dijon mustard
½ t (2 ml) Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3 T (45 ml) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) degrees.

Place pieces of bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil.
Mix around on the baking sheet to coat cubes with some of the oil
Bake in oven until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir after 4 minutes.
Remove and transfer croutons to a plate and set aside.

Meanwhile, place egg in a small saucepan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and turn off heat.
Let egg sit in hot water for 12 minutes.

Place Romaine in a large salad bowl.

When egg is cool enough to handle, remove yolk from egg and place yolk in the bowl of a food processor or blender.

Discard the egg white or save for another use (I chop it up and put it in my dog's homemade food).

Add the anchovies, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire, and grated cheese. 
Process until smooth. 
With motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil.
If the dressing seems to thick, add a tablespoon or two of water and process again.

Drizzle dressing over lettuce and toss to combine.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the croutons, and toss again.

Divide between 4 salad plates and add some shaved Parmigiano.

Serve with lemon wedges.


Serves 4

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