Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Caesar Salad

One of the first cookbooks I owned was Julia and Jacques Cooking At Home written by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. It was given to me as a gift and for the first few years I had it, I barley looked at it.

I have come to love this cookbook because it is a basic of great French cooking… one of those cookbook classics. In fact, everything I have ever cooked from it has been superb.

Although Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico, invented Caesar salad, it was Julia Child who brought it front and center to the culinary scene.

Here is a recipe that was modified from Julia’s recipe and is in the current issue of Saveur Magazine. The original recipe did not include anchovy filets; the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce.

It was grilling weather this past weekend and this fresh salad was a wonderful addition to a grilled steak, fresh tomatoes and another round of haricot verts.

Bon Appetit!

1 ½ cups olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
8 oz. stale crusty Italian or French white bread, cut into 1” cubes
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
4 oil-packed anchovy filets, drained and chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
12 oz. whole romaine lettuce, inner leaves only
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup finely grated Parmesan

Heat 1 cup oil and 1 clove of garlic in a 12” skillet over medium heat. Add bread and toss often until golden brown and crisp – about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

Rub remaining garlic over inside of a large salad bowl.

Add lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, anchovies, and salt and pepper, and whisk until anchovies are broken down.

Add remaining oil and whisk until blended.

Add lettuce leaves and toss to coat in dressing; drizzle eggs over leaves, and toss again until evenly coated.

Add reserved croutons, Parmesan and salt and pepper, and toss until evenly combined. Serves 2.