Chez Bob's Caesar
- prep time20 min
- total time 20 min
- serves 4-6
Perfect this recipe and the world will beat a path to your door.
3 thick slices of slightly stale, sourdough or rustic country-style bread,
3 Tbsp olive oilCaesar Salad
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves
3 anchovies, or 1 heaping teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 Tbsp safflower or canola oil
1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar
1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and trimmed. If lettuce looks anorexic, or is in need of a serious trim, buy 2 heads.
1 ½ cup croutons
½ cup (about 2 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-ReggianoNotes
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and add olive oil. Toss and squish the bread like a sponge until the oil is evenly absorbed.
3. Place the croutons on a baking sheet or aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 20 watchful minutes, or until golden brown. Turn once or twice. Try not to forget about them in the oven—as I often do.Caesar Salad
1. Add salt and pepper to the salad bowl (this creates a sandpaper-like base that will make the next steps easier). Add the garlic. Use the tines of a fork to smash up the garlic, then use the back of a soup spoon to grind the garlic against the wall of the bowl until it is thoroughly pulverized. Add anchovy and once again use the back of the spoon to grind it into a paste. Follow the same procedure, adding the Dijon, egg yolk, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce one at a time. Make sure that each ingredient is fully incorporated into the previous ingredients before proceeding. It should take about 15 seconds of muscle power to blend in each new ingredient.
2. Add the oil and vinegar. Blend well.
3. Tear or slice the lettuce into bite-size pieces and add to the salad bowl. Toss thoroughly with dressing.
4. Add the croutons and cheese, toss again, and serve immediately.Notes
1. If you don’t have a rough wooden salad bowl, the dressing can be made (with some sacrifice) in a blender or food processor: Add the salt, pepper, garlic, anchovy, Dijon, lemon juice, and Worcestershire. Purée. Add the oil and vinegar and pulse several times. Then add yolk and pulse a couple of times—just enough to blend it without causing the dressing to turn mayonnaisey.
2. If you are serving your salad to anyone over 100 years-old or to anyone with a compromised immune system, coddle your eggs to diminish the risks involved in using raw egg yolks: Begin with a properly refrigerated egg. Submerge the whole egg in a pot of boiling water for exactly 40 seconds, then remove from the water, crack, and separate the yolk from the white.
3. I find that the flavor of olive oil overwhelms the dressing so I use safflower oil. Other light vegetable oils or a light olive oil may be substituted.
4. The lettuce leaves should be coated, but not soaked, in dressing. To play it safe, remove and reserve one third of the dressing from the bowl before tossing the salad. Then add back as necessary until your salad is “dressed” appropriately.