For years, we have made Caesar salad at home using an adapted Joy of Cooking dressing recipe, swapping the egg yolk for a tablespoon of mayonnaise, figuring that if they offered it up as a suitable substitute, it was all just the same.
I am here to tell all of you IT IS NOT THE SAME.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Joy of Cooking recipe tastes great. It just never was super creamy. So when this deliciously haphazard salad on the pages of Bon Appétit taunted us for having yet taken the plunge into raw egg yolk, we knew it was time. & why not? We already eat sushi…raw, steal bites of cookie dough before baking…raw, & sometimes…shamefully….even reheat & eat pizza that spent the night on the counter sans refrigeration.
I’m not sure why we waited so long to throw the raw egg yolk into our dressing either.
It elevates Caesar salad from good to cravable & now that we’ve gone there, we’ll never turn back.
CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD
serves 6 as a side, 3 for a main dish
3-4 hearts of romaine, washed, dried, & roughly torn
3 cups croutons, recipe below
Caesar dressing, recipe below
Parmesan, freshly shaved with a vegetable peeler
In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce & croutons. Pour in about 3/4 of the dressing & get your hands in there to gently combine, adding more dressing if necessary. Divide the salad amongst bowls or plates & top with shaved Parmesan.
makes 3 cups
3 cups bread, torn into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil & set aside.
Add the bite sized bread to a large bowl & drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinkle with salt & pepper & toss to coat well. Spread in one even layer on the baking sheet & place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, giving the pan a good shake once through. When golden brown, remove from the oven & set aside to cool.
CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD DRESSING
makes about 1 cup
1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
1 large pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 large egg yolks*
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Finely mince the garlic. On the cutting board, sprinkle it with a large pinch of kosher salt & using the back of the knife blade, mash the garlic into a paste. Scrape the paste into a medium bowl & add the anchovies, egg yolks, lemon juice & Dijon mustard, whisking until well combined. Keep whisking & very slowly drizzle in the olive oil, followed by the vegetable oil, until everything is thick, creamy & almost irresistible. Whisk in the Parmesan, adjust seasoning with salt, pepper & more lemon juice, if necessary. Use immediately, or keep in the fridge for just a day or two.
*most salmonella comes from contact with egg shells, so if you want to be extra safe, wash the eggs before cracking.
dressing & salad adapted from Bon Appétit