I’ve made this quite a lot over the years, and I now find that I’ve upped the garlic content quite a bit from the early days, but, from experience, I can say this; “Know your dinner guests before going nuts with the garlic!” By the way, my favourite Caesar salad that I have encountered so far is at Via Allegro, a high-end Italian restaurant in Etobicoke, in the south-western part of Toronto. It’s a work of art!
- 1 big or 2 small heads of Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, gently broken into bite-size pieces and placed in the refrigerator for several hours before needed
- Croutons, to taste
- Lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- bacon bits, (optional, but they do add an extra “something” to the overall result)
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled (feel free to use more, I once used an entire bud!!!)
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- the juice of 1 lemon (or, in emergency, 2 tbsps. Realemon)
- 1 tsp. prepared or Dijon mustard
- anchovy paste, to taste
- a dash of Worchestershire sauce
- 3 or 4 drops of Tabasco
- ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups of olive oil
To make the dressing, finely chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the egg yolks, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worchestershire sauce, anchovy paste, Tabasco, salt & pepper and blend thoroughly. With the food processor on, S-L-O-W-L-Y drip the olive oil into this mixture and blend until it is near the consistency of mayo.
Rub the inside of a large wooden salad bowl with a clove of garlic. Add the chilled Romaine, and toss with enough dressing to lightly coat the pieces. Add the Parmesan cheese and a bit more dressing if needed, and continue to toss. You may add the croutons and bacon bits at same time as the cheese, or, alternatively, you may choose to have them available on the table as garnishes. And it’s nice to have the pepper grinder and more cheese available on the table as well.
Quite likely, there will be dressing left over. It will keep for a long time in the refrigerator.
- “ail” is French for garlic. Ha? (Never mind.)