When it comes to fashion and food, I’m into the classics. I still wear button-down oxfords, I live in my driving shoes and I value simple things. I used to love all of the fancy-schmancy stuff made of gold, glitz and glitter, but I realized it’s no longer for me.
Today, I make nearly everything from scratch and turn my nose up at things that are conventional, processed and commercially raised. Hopefully, this is an aspect of age, wisdom and awareness. Or maybe I am a throwback, but I really value knowing what goes into my food and where it comes from. Making things from scratch assures me that I am getting the best.
Ruth Reichl and a Classic Caesar
Which leads me to one of my food heroes. Ruth Reichl. I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. She was the former editor of Gourmet magazine. I avidly watched her Gourmet television show on PBS every Saturday afternoon when it aired for a brief time, and then when Gourmet closed its doors, I was saddened to lose my connections with her. But she’s still around in the cyberworld. She tweets and I follow her commentary and culinary adventures. Then she landed at Gilt Taste. And I smiled again.
When the email landed in my Inbox the other day from Gilt Taste informing me that Ruth had come up with a new way to improve upon the classic Caesar salad, David and I made it the very next day.
In the warmer weather months, I bet we make Caesar salad at home a few times a month. Sometimes we’ll throw a little chipotle in the dressing, but other times, David just makes a traditional Caesar with a garlicky-lemony-anchovy-Parmesan dressing that coats the leaves like a glaze.
As perfectionists, we’re always looking for ways to improve something we already know and love. And this recipe succeeds. We were totally impressed and are already wanting to make it again. And again. With blooming Mountain Laurels and bluebonnets all around us, spring is here which means, it’s time for Caesar salad.
Classic Caesar Salad
- 1 clove garlic cut in half and root end removed
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- Healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large or 2 small hearts of Romaine lettuce root end cut and removed and then washed, dried and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
- 1 or 2 pastured eggs
Cut a clove of garlic and rub it all over the inside of a very large salad bowl. (In this case, size matters, as you will be tossing whole lettuce leaves and mixing the dressing together in it, so go big.) Save the garlic for another use.
Pour the olive oil into the bottom of the bowl and whisk in lemon or lime juice. Add a healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce and whisk again.
Add the crisp leaves of 1 large or 2 small hearts of Romaine lettuce leaves to the big bowl. Depending on how much lettuce you are using, crack 1 or 2 pastured eggs over the lettuce leaves (start with 1 and you can always add another if you need to) and, very gently but thoroughly, toss with your hands, rolling the leaves around until each is coated with both the egg and olive oil and lemon mixture. This will form a combined dressing.
Add Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and more lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan on top, add crouton, if desired. Toss again. Sprinkle more Parm and more cracked black pepper on top of each salad once it is plated and serve at once to 2 people for an entree or 4 people as a salad. We enjoy eating the salad with our fingers, so have some fun with this dish!