Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Deb's Caesar Salad

(A quick note about this recipe: when I first met my husband, this was a long-time family favorite, a staple at special meals in their house. When I first learned it was adapted from a cookbook, and the cookbook was still referenced from time to time, to check quantities and whatnot, I was amazed, until I read the recipe myself, and realized I would not be able to make it from the recipe as I had witnessed it made, because it had adapted that much. So bear with me as I try to get it onto paper, it may change over time, and it may never be made exactly the same. It’s all part of the evolution and sharing of a recipe that is adjusted, passed along, and treasured.)

1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces

½ cup olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed

Good squirt of anchovy paste

3 T white or red wine vinegar (try one, then the other to see which you prefer)

Several dashes of Worchester sauce

¼ t. dried mustard powder (or ½ t. whole grain Dijon mustard)

Lemon juice from 1 lemon (more or less, depending on the size of the lemon)

Freshly grated or shredded Parmesan and/or Pecorino Romano to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled (or diced then cooked)

Can be served with croutons, mushrooms, tomatoes, anything else as desired

1. Soak the garlic in the olive oil in a container that has a lid. This step can be done up to a day in advance.

2. Remove most of the garlic from the oil, and remove 2 T of the oil.

3. Add anchovy paste, wine vinegar, Worchester sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Can be done a few hours in advance.

4. Add egg, shake the container vigorously to blend.

5. Add cheese, shake again, this time lightly.

6. Pour dressing over lettuce, toss to coat.

7. Add more cheese, bacon, croutons, mushrooms, anything else that you desire.

For really good croutons, take the 2 tablespoons of the garlic olive oil after it’s been marinating for awhile, and drizzle it over French bread cubes. Toast them in the oven for a few minutes, or sauté them in a large skillet until lightly toasted. Toss with a little freshly chopped Italian parsley.

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