Caesar Salad

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by: Head Chef






While there is some dispute about who invented this salad, chef Cardini in Tnuana in the 1930s or chef Junia in Chicago in 1903, this is a purely American creation and one of the great salads of the world when properly prepared. In most restaurants, it is served with an indifferent sauce, bland cheese, stale croutons, and often without the anchovies. True, some people don’t like anchovies, but a waiter should always ask, for a Caesar salad is defined by anchovies. To make a great Caesar salad, you must be brutal about discarding the outer dark leaves of the romaine. If you can’t stand the waste, save them for another salad the next day but don’t make your Caesar with huge, dark leaves. When you have reach the pale green, crisp hearts—you will need about 1/2 heart for each person-gently snap away the little leaves and leave them whole. Avoid store-bought croutons, and instead make your own with good dense-crumb white bread. Use authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and soft-boiled eggs instead of raw ones. The best anchovies are from Sicily and are packed in salt. If you can’t find them, buy anchovies packed in olive oil. Drain the anchovies and taste one. If it seems strong or too salty soak the anchovies in cold water for 5 minutes and pat them dry on paper towels.




ingredients

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serves: 4

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 slices dense-crumb white bread (crusts removed, cut into 1/3-inch cubes)

2 heads romaine lettuce (or 3 hearts of romaine)

1 clove garlic (peeled, crushed)

2 eggs (soft-boiled for 2 minutes)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

12 anchovy fillets (optional)

Pepper

Nutrition Facts
Caesar Salad

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 356

  • Total Fat: 24.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 4.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 97.3 mg
  • Sodium: 625 mg
  • Total Carbs: 21.9 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 7.1 g
  •     Sugars: 4.8 g
  • Protein: 14.3 g
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preparation

1.  In a skillet, heat about half of the oil over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and toss or stir every few minutes for about 12 minutes, or until evenly browned on all sides. Remove from the pan.

2.  If using romaine heads, discard all of the large, dark green leaves. Separate the leaves of the heart, leave them whole, and wash and spin dry. Refrigerate until needed. If you want to hold them for more than 1 hour, keep them wrapped in a moist kitchen towel.

3.  Just before you assemble the salad, rub the inside of the salad bowl with the garlic clove. Discard the garlic. Put the greens in the bowl. Cook the eggs as directed, then crack and scoop the eggs out of their shells and into the salad bowl. Add the mustard, salt, vinegar, cheese, and anchovies, and pour over the remaining oil.

4.  Sprinkle the croutons over the greens, grind pepper over the top, and toss.

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