Real, Authentic Caesar Salad

15 Apr

I bet you got all excited when you read the post title, didn’t you? I bet you LOVE Caesar Salad, huh? Order it every time you go out? Get those cute little bags of lettuce + Caesar salad accoutrements at the grocery store?

I’m sorry to shed light on your ignorance, but you’ve been fed some bullshit. (Both literally and figuratively.)

Real, authentic Caesar Salad is not creamy. Know those bottles of white dressing in the grocery store? That’s not real Caesar. Real Caesar salad is an oily, fishy, cheesy nom nom. You’ve most likely been duped. Unless you’ve watched a chef fix Caesar salad tableside, you’re probably getting some cheap lettuce, bagged Parmesan cheese, and bottled salad dressing on your plate.

This, my friends, is REAL Caesar Salad, courtesy of the Irreverent Reptile.

Ingredients:

  • 2 head of Romaine lettuce. (Pull the leaves apart from the spines. They’re just bitter and flavorless.)
  • 8 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 or 3 anchovy filets, mashed. (But the anchovy puree in a tube works just as well, and it’s a bit easier to store.)
  • bread, cubed, for croutons (Don’t be cheap. French or Cuban bread works best.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 block of Parmesan cheese, grated

First, the Croutons:

  1. In a small pan, heat some EVOO on medium heat
  2. Throw some garlic salt or garlic powder in the EVOO if you feel like it.
  3. Toss in croutons. Cook each side for about a minute.
  4. Remove from heat and drain.

Now, for the Caesar Salad:

  1. Mix EVOO, garlic, mustard powder, lemon juice, S&P, and anchovies in a large bowl. Kind of grind it down with your spoon. You want everything to mix together well; mash it if you have to.
  2. Coddle the egg: in a small pot, bring water to a rapid boil. Throw the egg in there for 20 seconds. Remove it and immediately place it under cold running water to stop the cooking process. This kills any harmful bacteria without removing the yolk’s binding properties.[edit: while this method allegedly eliminates the harmful bacteria, Daisy and Violet do NOT guarantee it. We have no empirical evidence to prove that coddling the egg will protect you completely. If you have any reservations about potentially coming in contact with bacteria found in raw eggs, please omit this step.]
  3. Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Put aside.
  4. Toss lettuce into the large bowl. Add the coddled egg yolk, toss some more. Add croutons and Parmesan cheese. Toss some more. Enjoy.
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4 Responses to “Real, Authentic Caesar Salad”

  1. I.R. April 15, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    D & V: Back down the dry (powdered) mustard to about 1/4 tsp.; and make sure it’s Coleman’s (in the yellow tin).

    And you forgot one of the more important components: either a lots-of-lime Bloody Mary, or, better still (in this instance only!) a crispy-cold, dry, sparkling white wine ( yes, Yellowtail bubbly will do, if that’s what one wants) right there next to the salad plate.

    Tell the people who read you that if anyone can definitively identify the original source of the Cesar salad, I personally will send him/her, by email, a personally authographed salad, right to the in-box. Only one winner, though: it really screws up my server and computers.

    • daisyandviolet April 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Our readers are excited about your salad contest.

      I like it with the kicked-up powdered mustard. I also use significantly more garlic than I noted above. Readers, try it the Reptile’s way first. If you find that you like the mustard-y flavor, kick it up to my level! -Violet

      • daisyandviolet April 16, 2012 at 11:15 am #

        I’ve had I.R.’s version AND Violet’s version. Both are amazing. You will take a baseball bat to the bottled dressings after tasting this stuff.

        -Daisy

  2. I.R. April 15, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    D & V: Back down the dry (powdered) mustard to about 1/4 tsp.; and make sure it’s Coleman’s (in the yellow tin).

    And you forgot one of the more important components: either a lots-of-lime Bloody Mary, or, better still (in this instance only!) a crispy-cold, dry, sparkling white wine ( yes, Yellowtail bubbly will do, if that’s what one wants) right there next to the salad plate.

    Tell the people who read you that if anyone can definitively identify the original source of the Cesar salad, I will send him/her, by email, a personally autographed salad, right to the in-box. Only one winner, though: it really screws up my server and computers.

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