My Favorite Caesar Salad
For the croutons:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups 1-inch bread cubes, cut from an Italian or French baguette
For the dressing:
1 large garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
3/4 cup olive oil
1 large head of Romaine lettuce, torn, rinsed and spun dry
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet heat the oil over moderate heat and add the bread cubes. Turn them constantly until they are golden and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper to taste.
On a cutting board mash the garlic and salt with a fork until it forms a paste, and transfer it to a salad bowl. Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire, Dijon, mayonnaise and anchovy paste, and whisk until smooth. Add the oil in a stream, whisking constantly, until the dressing is emulsified and season with salt and pepper. The dressing keeps covered and chilled for up to 4 days.
Add the lettuce and toss to coat the leaves. Add the Parmesan and croutons and toss well. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8
From Leslie Glover Pendleton
Everyone seems to have their own version of Caesar salad these days. Restaurants top it with chicken, steak, salmon and shrimp, and fast food stores shake it in a plastic cup. With all that exposure I am still amazed that people ravenously devour my old plain Caesar. This salad made right, requires some time, as store-bought croutons just don’t do it justice. The mayonnaise adds the creaminess of a raw egg yolk, and the anchovy paste can be omitted (though I bet you’d like it if you left it in). I have a HUGE salad bowl in which I double and triple this recipe, to make sure that everyone gets their share.