by Paul Cormier, Salamanders of Kemptville
Last week, I confessed to being old fashioned and gave you the recipe for a traditional Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail. I thought I would continue on the same theme today and introduce you to Caesar Salad (not Caesar’s Salad). So, this is the classic salad, invented in Mexico by Italian restauranteur Caesar Cardini; it is made – literally – by hand, and with the ingredients and preparation from yesteryear. You will note that there aren’t any bacon bits or any other “foreign materials” in this recipe, and that you are making everything “from scratch”. If you are entertaining your bubble some night, you can actually make a big production out of preparing a Caesar Salad right at the table, the way it is was originally done in Tijuana and is still being done to this day.
2 to 4 hearts of Romaine lettuce
3-4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
6 anchovy filets, the ones packed in oil
1 garlic clove
2 large egg yolks
2 to 4 tablespoons to lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup of vegetable oil
Pepper, preferably freshly ground
Kosher salt (preferred)
Croutons (made from scratch, see preparation below)
Finely chop and then mash the anchovy filets and garlic clove and place in your salad bowl.
Whisk in the egg yolks, two tablespoons of lemon juice and mustard.
Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then the vegetable oil.
Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, a bit of salt and pepper and bit more lemon juice (if you wish).
For the home-made croutons, tear up some good bread (like some slices of Grahame’s) into small bits, about 3 cups worth and toss with 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, bake on a cookie sheet in an oven warmed to 375 degrees; toss them around a bit as they bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are nicely golden.Wash your hands carefully and break up some pieces of Romaine into your dressing mixture (please do not use a knife to cut your lettuce).
Still using your hands, toss your salad, until the lettuce is coated, then toss in your croutons.
Wash up and lightly dust the top of your salad with a bit more Parmesan cheese. If you have block Parmesan, place some shavings on top.
This salad is meant to be enjoyed as soon as it is prepared, which is why it is put together at your table in fine restaurants. Thanks again for your great mails. Keep them coming at [email protected] and don’t forget to send along some of your family classics.