Caesar salad

I always remember being fascinated watching our waiters make Caesar salad from scratch table-side at Hy’s Encore in Vancouver. And it always came out delicious! It was an amazing dance of egg and oil, whipped up with such confidence and efficiency. Tackling such a classic is a bit daunting, but necessary, as it should be a staple in one’s culinary repertoire.

This first recipe is a newly-found recipe that we find like even better the second recipe. But we kept them both up so you’re spoilt for choice!

Recipe

from Foodnetwork.com
Serves 2-4

4 anchovy filets
3 garlic cloves
3 oz freshly grated Parmesan
1 heaped tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
1 lemon, juiced
extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 heads romain lettuce, outer leaves discarded

Pound the garlic and anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar until you have a pulp. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the Parmesan, creme fraiche, lemon juice and 3 times as much extra-virgin olive oil as lemon juice. Season dressing, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss with torn up romaine lettuce leaves.

Recipe

adapted from Epicurious.com
Serves 2

1 large garlic clove, halved lengthwise
1 cup 3/4″ cubes of French bread/baguette
2 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, drained
1 large egg
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 heart of romaine, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
dash of Worcestershire sauce
Parmigiano-Reggiano

Season salad bowl by rubbing a cut half of garlic and a splash of oil onto bottom and side of bowl (reserve garlic). Heat 1/3 cup oil with reserved garlic over moderately high heat, turning garlic until golden, then discard. Add bread cubes and sauté, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 2 minutes.

Put anchovies in salad bowl and mash to a paste using a fork or whisk. Whisk in egg, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, then add 2 tbsp oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Add salt to taste. Add romaine leaves to dressing and toss to coat. Add croutons and toss briefly. Sprinkle cheese to taste.

Musings

The dressing was actually not as thick as expected, which David says he might remedy by adding a touch of mayonnaise and even Parmesan cheese directly into the dressing next time. The flavour was very good, though David noted that he might even add another anchovy fillet to punch up the flavour a bit more. A worthy attempt, and a recipe that I’m sure we’ll continue to refine.

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