CAESAR SALAD “TABLESIDE” (IN A WOODEN BOWL)

This is my version of the classic Caesar Salad prepared tableside in a wooden bowl in fancy restaurants when I was young. The wooden bowl absorbs the oil from the garlic and helps to flavor the dressing, so you don't need to use the whole clove. This is a perfect salad course, or add grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or a firm fish such as tuna or swordfish for a light and flavorful one dish meal.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 3-4 Anchovy Filets
  • 2 Eggs yolks
  • 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil a lighter one is best
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • ½ tsp Tabasco optional
  • ¼ Cup Lemon Juice fresh squeezed
  • Black Pepper
  • ¾ Cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
  • 1 large head Romaine or 3 heads of Baby Gem lettuce washed and dried you can use as whole leaves, which is traditional, or tear into smaller pieces
  • 1 ½ Cups Croutons

Instructions
 

  • Place the eggs in a small bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds. Separate the yolks from the whites. Discard the whites or save for another use.
  • Smash the garlic clove with a fork in the bottom and sides of the bowl to release the oils. Remove all but a few small bits of the garlic.
  • Add the anchovy filets and about 4 turns of a peppermill of black pepper.
  • Using 2 forks, smash the anchovy filets with the residual garlic to form a paste.
  • Add the egg yolks and the mustard and stir to blend.
  • Using a whisk, adds the olive oil in a few tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly until it begins to thicken. Once all of the oil has been added, the mixture should resemble a loose mayonnaise.
  • Add the Worcestershire, Tabasco and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning.
  • Place the croutons in the bottom of the bowl and then add the lettuce.
  • When ready to serve, toss together along with the cheese and serve immediately with a fresh grating of cheese.

Notes

KTINA’S TIPS
  • Make sure all ingredients are room temperature which helps to emulsify the dressing.
  • Use only super fresh eggs; microwaving them for 20 seconds coddles the yolks and kills bacteria. There may be a cooked bit of yolk, which is fine, just mash it up along with the mustard and anchovies.
  • If you use a tin of anchovies, use the flat variety. You can add a bit of the anchovy oil if you like.   
  • Additional anchovy filets as a garnish are optional if you like them. 
  • I think the Tabasco adds a nice zing to the dressing, but you may skip it if you prefer.
  • I prefer Baby Gem lettuce when I can get it and use the whole leaves. It is like using hearts of Romaine.
  • I like to make my own croutons. They are so easy and taste much better than the packaged type. You may never buy croutons again once you try them. 
  • Substitute a Chipotle pepper for the anchovy, Cotija Cheese and use cornbread croutons for a spiced up version to go along with a Mexican menu.  

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