Caesar Salad Recipe
Caesar salad makes a very serviceable main course, first course, or small serving alongside other salads. It is marvelously flavorful (even without anchovies in the dressing, and filled with toothsome textures. Needless to say, it is incredibly popular and is always inviting on a buffet table. There are several considerations for making it successfully:
Use the tender inner leaves, the hearts, of the romaine. The outer leaves are tough and unsuitable. Be sure that the leaves are well dried after a careful rinsing.
Good Parmigiano-Reggiano is a must. It is a large flavor component. Just as important is when to add it: at the end, just before the croutons, so that it does not have a chance to absorb a lot of dressing before the salad is served.
Classic Caesar dressing contains raw egg. Raw ingredients should not be left to stand at room temperature for any length of time. In short, once assembled, the salad should be served and enjoyed.
This recipe, in particular, is ideal for a large party or gathering. The yield is generous, and each of the components—the lettuce, dressing, and croutons—can be prepared in advance.
12 cups loosely packed 2-inch pieces of tender romaine lettuce leaves (about 3 hands)
For the dressing:
1 large egg
1 garlic clove
4 anchovy fillets packed in oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoons dry mustard
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup croutons
Have ready a large salad bowl, preferably a wooden one, with tongs.
Make the dressing: Place the egg, still in its shell, in a cup and cover it with warm water.
Peel, trim, and finely dice the garlic.
In the salad bowl, using a fork, crush the anchovies together with the Worcestershire sauce to start a paste. Add the garlic and mustard and stir to combine. Add the salt and pepper and wash to incorporate.
Break the slightly warmed egg into a small bowl. Using a wire whisk, add the egg to the anchovy mixture, whisking until thoroughly blended. Continue whisking, and add the olive oil in a slow stream. Whisk until it is incorporated. Whisk in the lemon juice in the same manner. (You will have 1 ½ cups dressing.)
Assemble the salad: Add the lettuce to the salad bowl and, using tongs, toss it, turning the leaves over from the bottom of the bowl to the top to coat them with dressing. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and then the croutons. Serve at once.