ACAESAR SALAD (for six)
James Beard, in Beard on Food, offers “the trick to making a true Caesar salad — toss the leaves first with the olive oil, before adding the lemon juice, anchovies, egg, Parmesan and croutons. The oil forms a protective coating that prevents the leaves from wilting when they are tossed with the other ingredients.”
3 garlic cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons olive oil
5 slices home-made style white bread, crusts discarded and bread cut into ½ inch squares (about 2-1/2 cups)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 heads romaine, rinsed, spun dry and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 16 cups)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese drained flat anchovy fillets (optional)
- In a mortar with a pestle mash the garlic to a paste with the salt, stir in 4 tablespoons of the oil and force the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.
- In a jelly roll pan bake the bread squares in the middle of a preheated 350* oven for 10 minutes, add them to the garlic mixture, and toss them until they are coated well with the mixture. Return the croutons to the pan, bake them for 3 minutes more, or until they are golden, and let them cool in the pan on a rack.
- In a saucepan of boiling water, boil the eggs in the shell for 1 minute and drain them.
- In a salad bowl, drizzle the remaining 5 tablespoons oil, the lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce over the romaine and toss. Break the eggs over the salad and toss until it is combined well.
- Sprinkle the mixture with the Parmesan, the croutons and salt and pepper to taste. Toss lightly and serve decorated with the optional anchovies.