|Seizure Salad |
A quintessential Caesar requires the harmonic convergence of several high-quality ingredients and some focus. In order to demystify the process, and make you the mac daddy of garlicky greens, I've isolated the most essential components.
1/4 t salt
1 t coarsely ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovies (or 1 t anchovy paste)
2 t Dijon mustard (the real stuff, not the dried stuff)
1 egg yolk, coddled*
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup safflower oil, or olive oil
1 1/2 t red wine vinegar
1 large head romaine lettuce, outer leaves discarded, remaining leaves washed and thoroughly dried. If lettuce looks anorexic or is in need of a serious trim, buy two heads
1 1/2 cups croutons (see recipe that follows)
1/2 cup grated imported Italian Parmegiano-Reggiano
* When I cook for others, the fear of a class-action lawsuit drives me to coddle. Place the eggs, in their shell, in boiling water 40 seconds. Remove, run under cold water 15 seconds to stop the cooking process, then use as directed.
1) Add salt and pepper to the salad bowl (this creates a sandpaper-like base that'll make the next steps easier). Using the back of a soup spoon, grind garlic against the wall of the bowl until it becomes a paste. Then add anchovies, and once again use the back of the spoon to grind it into a paste. Follow the same procedure, adding the Dijon, egg yolk, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce one at a time. Make sure that each ingredient is blended into a smooth paste with the previous ingredients before proceeding.
2) Add oil and vinegar. Blend well.
3) Tear or slice lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad bowl. Toss thoroughly with dressing.
4) Add croutons and cheese, toss again, then serve immediately.