Caesar salad has always been one of my all time favorite salads but I could never get the dressing quite right…..until I ordered it once in an Italian restaurant in Niagara Falls of all places. The waiter came to our table with this wooden stand and placed a huge wooden bowl on top and then started mixing from scratch right in front of us. He looked so professional doing so that I tried to memorize his every ingredient with the correct proportions. I don’t believe anything is left out, in fact I added another two ingredients.
Start with fresh ground pepper right in the bowl (preferably wooden) that you’ll be serving from.
Purists will tell you that Caesar Salad has to be made with fresh anchovies but I admit to using about 1 inch of Anchovy paste instead. A good quality one works as a nice replacement.
Crushed or finely chopped garlic (a couple cloves…or more)
About 1 tsp. of dried mustard like Keen’s
1 egg yolk
a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and Red Wine Vinegar.
Whisk in the juice of ½ fresh lemon. Add anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup of olive oil bit by bit – whisking slowly in with the rest. It depends on how thick you like the dressing. More often than not I end up using about 1/3 of a cup. Finally mix in ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Toss in enough romaine lettuce for the dressing, tearing it with your hands. Add more parmesan & pepper if you like once plated. Also bacon bits and croutons if desired.
NOTE: Since then I was at another restaurant where the waiter added some capers and a splash of Tabasco. You can add that before the lemon if you want – it’s a great addition.
For tasty croutons just cut up some bread into little squares and add it to a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil and Italian spices until they start to get crispy. You can also freeze them for later use.
**p.s. I thought yesterday was Wednesday so I posted something on design. Normally I post a recipe on Tuesday. Might have suffered a bit of heat stroke in Palm Springs. Does anyone really care? Do you bloggers follow some kind of format or just post haphazardly?