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Caesar Salad

This recipe is from the cookbook of one of my heroes, Alice Waters. It is called The Art of Simple Food. This book would be perfect on the shelf of any farmstand shopper or CSA member and really any aspiring cook at any level. 

Caesar Salad

4 servings

Remove the outer darker green leaves, leaving only the smaller light green leaves from:

2 heads of Romaine lettuce

Cut off the stem ends and separate into leaves. Keep the small leaves at the heart intact, and tear the larger leaves in pieces.  Wash well and spin dry in batches.  Keep cool until ready to dress.

Cut into small cubes, about 1/2 inch square: 

3 ounces day-old country-style bread

You should have about 20 cubes. Toss in a bowl with:

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and some salt

Spread on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring the croutons occasionally for even browning.

To make the dressing, mix in a small bowl:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, pounded to a puree

2 teaspoon chopped salt-packed anchovies (about 2-3 fillets)

salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Whisk in:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Right before serving the salad, grate:

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)

Whisk into the dressing

1 egg yolk

Add a small handful of the grated cheese and whisk until thick. Taste for salt and acid with a piece of romaine. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Put the romaine in a large bowl, pour three quarters of the dressing over the salad, and toss. Taste and add more if needed.  Add more of the rest of the grated cheese and toss lightly.  Arrange the salad on a large plate.  Toss the croutons in the bowl, scraping up the last of the dressing, and then scatter them over the salad.  Garnish with the last of the cheese and a final grind of pepper.