Monday, August 29, 2011

Homemade Caesar Salad

When I go to restaurants, I like to order things I cannot make at home.  Either dishes with ingredients unavailable to me, things I've never heard of, or dishes I don't know how to or don't like to cook.  Caesar Salad fits into the category of food I don't know how to cook.  Until now! Thanks to the good ol' interwebs, the Caesar is no longer a mystery!


Caesar Salad (adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

2 1/2 cups cubed crusty bread for croutons
3 garlic cloves
2 large egg yolks**
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon minced flat anchovy filet*
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 large heads romaine, torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (actually Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is sold in the bulk cheese case at my Walmart)
freshly ground black pepper

Make the croutons.  Spread bread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 until golden, about 7 minutes.

Grate the Parmesan cheese in the food processor.  Cut the block of cheese into big cubes and just pulse the food processor until it's a fine consistency.  Remove cheese from processor.

Add the garlic cloves and anchovy* to the food processor.  Chop them very finely.  Add egg yolk, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and process until frothy.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil.  Process for about 10 seconds.

To assemble the salad, toss dry romaine with Parmesan cheese, dressing, and croutons. 

*I left out the anchovy, only because my Walmart didn't have anchovies.  The dressing was delicious, but didn't have the distinctive "Caesar" taste; I'm certain because it was lacking anchovies.  Don't leave them out!

**I know you're not really supposed to eat raw eggs, but I like living on the edge. Seriously though, don't serve them to babies, unhealthy people, or pregnant women.  Be sure they are fresh (organic and free range if possible) and rinse the eggs before you crack them.