Caesar Salad

This salad is found on every pub menu in North American, but does have many variations, mainly by topping the Caesar salad with grilled chicken, steak, or seafood, this to me is quite acceptable. However, what I cannot accept is when iceburg lettuce is used, although I hear there is an iceburg revival. I haven’t seen this yet, but I did read a recipe for this.

I also saw on a menu Caesar salad with an orange vinigarette dressing! I thought what the “F”! Are they serious. They need someone to go in there and sort that kitchen out! Mind you, this was in Germany. Actually one of my wife’s cousins is a chef and I asked him how he would make a Caesar salad and he FAILED as far as I am concerned! That’s probably why he cooks in an old peoples home!

Well, back to my history of the Caesar, this was a salad that I first tried in Vancouver, B.C. and I hadn’t even heard of it before. Maybe because I had never ordered a salad before! But I must admit that this a really tasty dressing and a step up from Thousand Island dressing.

Living in Berlin, Germany I found that there was a salad dressing missing and although you can readily get Caesar dressing in most supermarkets now, for a long time you couldn’t. I had to get a recipe for myself and have now put a stamp on it that most people consider mine to be the best in Berlin. At least better than what I have tatseted, including the Midtown Grill’s version!

Easy to make, delish to eat, give this recipe a try!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Cos or Roma lettuce
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese for the dressing and another few grates to sprinkle
  • 200ml good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed for the dressing and another couple for the oil for croutons
  • 4-6 anchovies from a can or a good squeeze 1/2 a small tube anchovie paste
  • Juice from 1 lemon but use more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium slices of good crusty bread cut into cubes for the croutons

Preparation method:

In a pan heat up some oil but not the oil set aside for the dressing. Season the oil with a clove or two of garlic, salt pepper and throw in the diced bread and fry until golden. Set aside and drain. Cut the bottoms off the lettuce and pick off any bad leaves and tear the leaves into nice chunky pieces and put into a salad spinner sieve. Rinse and give a good spin! Yes, I am one of those people that actually use a salad spinner! Pat dry the leaves and set aside.

In a blender or food processor put in your Parmesan cheese, anchovies, crushed garlic, lemon juice, mustard and blend then trickle in the oil and blend until a good mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Put salad leaves in a bowl with half the croutons and a sprinkle of Parmesan then pour over the dressing. Mix well and then if you have another cleaner bowl, put the mixed salad in there and sprinkle over the rest of the croutons and grated Parmesan, a grind more of black pepper and serve. Make sure you get some as this will go in a flash!

Tip

For a creamier dressing add an egg yolk after the oil and blend until it has a mayonnaise type consistency.

This is such a hit when I BBQ that I sometimes have to make another batch!

Enjoy!