Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Et tu anchovy???

Ever since high school I have had a deep fondness for Caesar salad. My sister developed her fondness, nay obsession, with the salad much earlier than that. There was a trip our family took to Colorado that she ate Caesar salad and/or Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo every day we were there. My fondness for Caesar salad is different though. As you can see in the picture above the greens are not your typical creamy coated lettuce salad. My father taught me this method after watching a waiter make table side Caesar salad at a restaurant. Because my family had a bought with Salmonella once before we skip the raw egg portion of our dressing and we up the vinegar. In all fairness, I try to top the salad with boiled egg (plus Mattie likes that it means extra protein for him). I cannot give you exact measurements for the dressing, but I will try to translate the method and approximate amounts as much as possible.

First, wash and dry your romaine lettuce leaves...this (and many other dressings) will not stick to wet lettuce. If you don't have a salad spinner, now might be a great time to get one. I would also recommend that you have your croutons and shredded Parmesan ready to go. This would also be a great time to put some salad plates in the freezer if so desired.

Next, in a large bowl (I have a good, shallow metal bowl that I usually use), crush two or so cloves of garlic. Add a few sliced anchovies and mash this together until it is a thick paste. I use the back of a fork to get optimum anchovy mash-age, but sometimes you need to break it up further with a sharp knife.

Next, add a few splashes of several different vinegars. We always use a good balsamic vinegar and some red wine vinegar. If it is a special occasion we break out the Mexican vinegar that we cannot find any more and add a splash or two of that. Also squeeze half a fresh lemon into the dressing. Mix all of this together. It should be fairly thick from your anchovy/garlic paste. If you want you can throw in a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce (to make it more authentic).

Next get out a small whisk. While beating slowly, stream in a good quality Extra virgin olive oil. You need a good quality olive oil (and extra virgin at that) because this is a need the best flavor possible. The amount of olive oil is completely up to you. Matt's family can attest that I like a very tart dressing that definitely does not have much more olive oil than needed. Taste a bit and add if is easy to add more...impossible to take away.

Now add in your lettuce, Parmesan, croutons, and lots of freshly ground black pepper and toss together. I like to let this sit for a minute so the croutons can soak up any extra dressing. We often top with boiled eggs as mentioned before and if we are having this as a dinner we add chicken and sometimes fresh avocado.

1 comment:

McKay said...

I love when you give recipes! I've done the stuffed peppers multiple times (and a few other pepper recipes too, but yours is the best). I think I've lost your molten chocolate lava cake recipe... maybe another post?... :-)