December 6, 2010

Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is what I order the most when eating out because, aside from loving the flavors, it is a fairly standard salad and therefore less likely to be inedible, though not all Caesars are created equally. Though the true origins of the salad are debated, it likely arose in California during the early to mid-twentieth century. Caesar salads are easy to make on one's own and are best fresh with homemade dressing and croutons. Caesar salads are great with pizza and bacon braised chicken.

The anchovy may be increased or omitted depending upon preference. Fresh eggs are best. Other types of bread may be used as well. Traditionally the dressing is prepared in the salad bowl prior to adding the salad ingredients, which works very well, though I find blending the dressing ingredients most evenly distributes them in the final salad.

Dedicated to my dearest Heather, who requested a Caesar recipe for the holidays. Happy cooking in Washington.

½ c olive oil plus 1 tbsp for croutons

1 clove garlic

1 c French or sourdough bread, cut into ½ in cubes

1 egg

1 lemon, juiced and strained

1 tsp salt

1 anchovy

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp white wine vinegar

½ c grated parmesan

2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and roughly chopped

freshly ground pepper

1. Combine garlic and ½ c olive oil in a small bowl, infuse at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

2. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Gently combine bread and 1 tbsp olive oil, arrange in single layer on a baking sheet and place in oven. Allow croutons to bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Once golden brown, remove from oven and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, gently place the entire egg in the boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Once the egg has coddled, remove from heat and immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process.

4. Place olive oil, garlic, anchovy, lemon juice, salt, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and egg in a blender or food processor. Blend until ingredients are well combined, about 1 minute.

5. Combine lettuce, croutons and Parmesan in a large mixing bowl. Add dressing and gently toss ingredients until they are evenly coated. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 3-4


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