Monday, March 15, 2010

The IDES of March - Et tu, Brute, Not the Salad!

In honor of Caesar, I share a recipe from What’s Cooking America for a great Caesar’s salad…


1/2 to 3/4 cup croutons (see directions below)
1 coddled egg (see directions below)*
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (1 to 2 medium cloves with inner green germ removed)
1 anchovy fillet, mashed**
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tablespoons (1/2 lemon) freshly squeezed lemon juice***
3 drops Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 head Romaine lettuce, hearts and tender leaves only
Coarsely ground black pepper

How to make croutons:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Trim the crust from day-old peasant-style bread (Italian or French bread) and dice into 3/4-inch cubes. Toss with enough olive oil to coat, but not drench. Sprinkle lightly with salt and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until just golden brown. Halfway through the baking time, give the pan a shake to make sure the croutons toast evenly. Remove from oven and completely cool croutons. Store in an airtight container.

How to coddle eggs:

Coddling causes the yolk to become slightly thickened and warm. Bring a very fresh egg to room temperature by immersing it in warm water (otherwise it might crack when coddled). Place the egg in a small bowl or mug and pour boiling water around the egg until it is covered. Let stand for exactly 1 minute. Immediately run cold water into the bowl until the egg can be easily handled; set aside.

(Be careful with coddled eggs, they spoil easily – :)*

How to make Caesar Salad dressing:

In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy, and salt until blended. Whisk in the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the coddled egg until the mixture is thick, approximately 1 minute (this enable the lemon juice to "cook" the eggs). Slowly drizzle in the olive oil with one hand while vigorously whisking the mixture with the other. When the dressing is well combined, whisk in 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.

How to assemble Caesar Salad:

Separate the Romaine leaves and discard the coarse outer leaves. Wash, drain, and pat with paper towels or spin dry the remaining leaves. Note: Lettuce should be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use. Tear into bite-size pieces and set aside.
In a large wooden salad bowl, add 1/3 of the dressing and toss with the croutons until well coated. Add the Romaine lettuce pieces and the remaining dressing; toss until coated

How to serve Caesar Salad:

Divide the salad between chilled plates and sprinkle each salad with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground pepper.
Serve immediately with chilled forks.
Makes 2 to 4 servings (depending on serving sizes)

* note, if they get too spoiled make them sit in the corner for 20 minutes, works wonders.

1 comment:

  1. I understand this can also be made 'egg-less' by using egg replacer.