Classic Caesar Salad
This is one of my favorite salads and a classic; by that I mean I use anchovy fillets and real egg yolks (from pasteurized eggs) in the dressing. Hits all my flavor and texture buttons.
- 1 large or 2 medium heads of romaine lettuce (I use the whole head of romaine)
- 3 yolks from pasteurized eggs
- 2 + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (1 for the dressing, 2 tbsp for the croutons if you choose to make your own)
- 1/2 cup safflower oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano (plus more for garnish)
- 3 salted/cured anchovy fillets
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 + 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cup toasted sourdough croutons (garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350F, place a rack on the bottom level.
- Make the croutons:
- Use day-old sourdough bread.
- Slice off the crust or not (your choice). We leave ours on.
- Slice into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch cubes.
- Sprinkle 2 tbsp of olive oil, add a pinch of salt and a turn or two of a black pepper mill, mix well.
- Spread out on a baking tray and place in the preheated until browned (about 15 minutes), turn half way through.
- Carefully remove the tray and cool on a wire rack.
- Remove the croutons, store in an airtight plastic container. (May be done a day or two ahead).
- Wash the lettuce well, cut off the thick base, remove and discard any discolored stalks or leaves, chop into 1 to 2-inch pieces, wash once again, spin dry; set aside in a large salad mixing bowl.
- Peel and mince the garlic; set aside.
- Mash the anchovy fillets with a fork; set aside.
- Make the dressing:
- Place the yolks and water in a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk continuously until you have a smooth, creamy consistency and uniform color.
- Add the lemon juice, mustard, garlic and mashed anchovies, whisk until completely incorporated.
- While continuing to whisk slowly drizzle the olive oil then the safflower oil until you have a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Whisk in the grated parmesan.
- Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.
- Make the salad:
- Pour one-half of the dressing over the lettuce, mix well.
- Taste for seasoning, add more dressing, salt, and pepper if desired at this point.
Classic Caesar Salad