Caesar Salad can be served as a side salad or as a meal. Nowadays there are several variations and it is usually served pre-prepared in a bowl or salad plate. The Chicken Caesar version is one of my favourite lunch meals but Paris is not the best place to order it. From time to time I try it at some of the Tex-Mex restaurants around town. I had it this weekend while I was out shopping and was pleasantly surprised – the chicken was real, the romaine crisp, the parmesan shaved not grated and the dressing served on the side. This Tex-Mex version also included tomatoes and avocado.
This week’s recipe is the classic version. I would make it more often but it is difficult to find romaine in Paris.
1 large head of romaine, washed, torn into bite-sized pieces, thick cores removed, and dried on paper towels
250 mL (1 cup) of 1.5 cm (1/2”) cubes of Italian bread or French baguette
1 clove garlic, minced
30 mL (2 Tbsp) olive oil
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Combine garlic, olive oil and bread cubes in a bowl; mix to coat evenly. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
2 anchovy filets, cut in small pieces (optional)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2.5 mL (½ tsp) hot English mustard
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 egg yolks*
45 mL (3Tbsp) grated Parmesan cheese
125 mL (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place the anchovy, garlic, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in the bottom of a large wooden salad bowl and add a few croutons to aid in the crushing process. Using a large spoon crush and mash the ingredients into a thick, very smooth paste.
Add the lemon juice and two egg yolks and beat the dressing. Add 1 Tbsp of Parmesan and pour in the oil in a thin stream, beating very fast until the dressing is thick and creamy.
To assemble the salad, toss the romaine and croutons with the dressing and mix thoroughly.
* Raw egg yolks can be replaced by a 1 minute boiled egg or a coddled egg (lower the eggs gently into boiling water and immediately turn off the heat. Remove the eggs after 1 minute.) Crack eggs and separate whites from yolks, using only the yolks for the salad dressing.
Copyright 2007 Jan McIntyre