Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Caesar Salad

Serves 4 to 6

If you can't find ciabatta, a similar crusty, rustic loaf of bread can be substituted. A quarter cup of Egg Beaters may be substituted for the egg yolks. Since anchovy fillets vary in size, more than 6 fillets may be necessary to yield 1 tablespoon of minced anchovies. The easiest way to turn garlic cloves into a paste is to grate them on a rasp-style grater.


5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste from 1 medium clove (see note)
1/2 - 3/4 loaf ciabatta, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 5 cups) (see note)
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 teaspoon garlic paste from 1 large clove (see note)
2 - 3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 anchovy fillets, patted dry with paper towels, minced fine, and mashed to paste with fork (1 tablespoon) (see note)
2 large egg yolks (see note)
5 tablespoons canola oil
5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup)
Ground black pepper
2 - 3 romaine hearts, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices, rinsed, and dried very well (8 to 9 lightly pressed cups)


1. FOR THE CROUTONS: Combine 1 tablespoon oil and garlic paste in small bowl; set aside. Place bread cubes in large bowl. Sprinkle with water and salt. Toss, squeezing gently so bread absorbs water. Place remaining 4 tablespoons oil and soaked bread cubes in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Remove skillet from heat, push croutons to sides of skillet to clear center, add garlic/oil mixture to clearing and cook with residual heat of pan, 10 seconds. Sprinkle with Parmesan; toss until garlic and Parmesan are evenly distributed. Transfer croutons to bowl; set aside.

3. FOR THE SALAD: Whisk garlic paste and 2 tablespoons lemon juice together in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.

4. Whisk Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and egg yolks into garlic/lemon juice mixture. While whisking constantly, drizzle canola oil and extra virgin olive oil into bowl in slow, steady stream until fully emulsified. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and pepper to taste; whisk until incorporated.

5. Add romaine to dressing and toss to coat. Add croutons and mix gently until evenly distributed. Taste and season with up to additional 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Serve immediately, passing remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan separately.


A Better Kind of Crouton
Most modern-day croutons used in Caesar salad are crunchy through and through. We designed ours to be crispy on the outside but chewy in the middle, a far better complement to the crisp-tender romaine leaves.

1. MOISTEN Sprinkling bread cubes with water and then squeezing them moistens their interior.

2. CRISP UP Frying the dampened cubes in oil crisps their exteriors while the moist interior retains some chew.

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