Thursday, September 22, 2005

Caesar Salad

This is a recipe that I picked up when I did an Italian cooking class over a space of eight weeks at one of the local community colleges. The teacher was very big on telling us this particular recipe is closer to the traditional Italian caesar salad, as the dressing isn't creamy as such, and you don't add chicken. Chicken bad! Up til then I didn't know anyone could be passionate about how to make a caesar salad!

* Note: this recipe contains raw eggs


2 small Cos lettuces (or should that be lettuci)
3 slices of thick bread (pick something with a bit of weight to it, like ciabatta)
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic (chopped fine) ... about 1 good thick clove
2 eggs
sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and salt
8 tbsp olive oil (use 4 at first, then add more if needed)
4 tbsp lemon or lime juice
150-200g (5-7 ounces) parmesan cheese (grated or shaved, up to you)
6-8 anchovy fillets (optional, but I think they really do add to it)


  1. Wash leaves under cold water and dry. Cover and chill (ie. put in fridge! While you are doing that, get a large salad bowl, and chuck that in the fridge too)
  2. Trim bread and cut into large croutons (squares). Cook in hot vegetable oil. Lift and drain (ie take out of pan with spatula thingy and try not to take too much oil with you. Perhaps put them on some paper towelling to soak up any excess oil).
  3. After browning croutons, add garlic to oil for a short time and then put the croutons back in. Mix 'em up a bit, then lift, drain and let cool.
  4. When ready to make salad (and not before! Don't try to do this while you are still in the bath or anything!), plunge eggs into boiling water (off the heat) for 10 seconds. Remove and put to one side.
  5. Take the large chilled salad bowl out of the fridge. Rub inside of bowl with cut garlic. Break lettuce leaves into serving size pieces and scatter in the bottom of the bowl (ie. rip it up, bung 'em in)
  6. Add pepper and salt and olive oil and toss, coating all lettuce.
  7. Break eggs into bowl and toss. Add lemon/lime juice and toss. Ensure all dressing is mixed well with lettuce.
  8. Add cheese and anchovies (if used) and toss lightly.
  9. Scatter croutons on top and serve chilled ('cause it is just going to taste crap if you try to heat it up in the oven!)


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