Contrary to what you might think, Caesar salad has nothing to do with Julius Caesar but there was another Caesar involved. Credit goes to Caesar Cardini, an Italian-born Mexican restauranteur who is believed to have invented the dish in San Diego in the 1920s.
- 1 clove garlic
- 4-6 anchovy fillets
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg from a hen you know and trust
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
- 4 slices bread, cut thin
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce
Mash the garlic in a large wooden salad bowl, rubbing it well around the sides. Let it stand thus for a few minutes, then scrape out and discard the garlic pulp. Put the anchovy fillets and cheese into the bowl and mash them to a smooth paste. Add raw egg to the anchovy-cheese mixture and work smooth. If you are concerned about the quality of your eggs for raw use, you may coddle it by cooking it in fast-boiling water for one minute, just enough to cut the edge of rawness. Blend in the oil and vinegar. Neither salt nor pepper is needed. Make croutons by buttering the bread on both sides, cubing it small, and browning the croutons in the oven until crisp. Wash the romaine well, dry and crisp it. Break it into the bowl, sprinkle on the croutons and toss lightly in the dressing until every leaf is coated and the dressing absorbed by the croutons. Serves 4 to 6.
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