Caesar salad gets an update

August 08, 2010|By SCOTT C. ANDERSON / Special to The Herald-Mail

Traditionally, Caesar salad is made with a coddled egg so it is a lot more complicated than throwing lettuce into a bowl.

The flavors are bright and delicate and blend together when you follow these quick and easy steps.

Once you taste the fresh salad, I am certain you will forgo the bottle dressing or dry dressing mix when you have the time to prepare this delicious salad.

To accent the salad add grilled shrimp, chicken or sliced flank steak to the top and grate on a little more fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese.

I chose to grate the Parmesan, but it can be shredded to provide a different texture and mouth feel.

- Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.


Caesar salad croutons

3-4 cloves peeled garlic
1 baguette
1/2 cup oil
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crush the garlic cloves with the side of a chef's knife (be very careful) or with a garlic press. Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch cubes.

Combine garlic, oil, salt and bread cubes in a bowl. Mix until cubes are coated evenly.

Spread the coated cubes onto a baking sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the croutons are golden.

- courtesy Scott Anderson

Modern Caesar salad

1 medium garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 4 flat anchovies
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 cups water
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon capers
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
2 medium heads of romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed
Croutons (see recipe above)

To prep for salad, crush the garlic. If you are using flat anchovies, mince one or two to make 1 1/2 teaspoons worth. Grate the Parmesan cheese.

Put about 4 cups of water in a pot and bring to boil. When water comes to rolling boil, add egg. Boil for 45 seconds - no more - to coddle egg. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Mix Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, anchovy, mustard and capers in a bowl. Crack egg and add to these ingredients. Whisk until smooth.

Slowly add the oil in a steady stream while constantly whisking again until smooth. If you add the oil too quickly, the dressing will be separate and not emulsify.

Tear the romaine lettuce into 1/2 inch pieces and add them to a large bowl (wooden if you have one). Add half the dressing, toss add remaining dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons and toss again. Serve on chilled plates.

- courtesy Scott Anderson

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