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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hail Caesar!

I often compare a Caesar salad to a margarita as it's a delicate balance with both to equally, accurately define the tart, sweet and sour. I think I hit it with a recipe from this week's Quinciple box. Read on about Quinciple, the fresh from the farm food delivery service replete with recipes. They don't provide all the ingredients called for however, so I used a few good squeezes of anchovy paste, for example, that I had on hand instead of purchasing a tin of anchovy fillets. Also--the dressing is quite fully flavored. Although I quite enjoyed dressing the first night tossed with half of the the romaine lettuce, I loved it the next afternoon with the rest of the romaine allowing the dressing to mellow overnight in the refrigerator.

4 tbsp. chopped chives
1 head romaine lettuce
2 slices Bien Cuit's rye miche
1 egg yolk
½ lemon
1-2 anchovy fillets
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1-2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for garnish
Red wine vinegar
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce
Olive oil, about ¼ cup
Salt and pepper

An unidentified writer scribed the following:

"This is not the Caesar Salad to end all Caesars because of some secret special recipe (though I do have to give credit to Jeff Smith, my college boyfriend’s dad for teaching it to me). It is an amazing salad because the classic Caesar dressing, when made from scratch is truly mind blowing. The stuff you get out of the bottle bears no relation. You’ll need to taste as you go and tweak to your liking.
Use a mortar and pestle to smash the garlic and anchovies (or you can do this on a cutting board with the bottom of a water glass). Add to a small mixing bowl with the egg yolk and stir. While stirring, add a few drops of olive oil. Continue stirring and slowly adding olive oil in a thin stream (the constant stirring is needed to ensure a good emulsification). Add enough olive oil to double the volume. Add a splash of red wine vinegar, a small squeeze of lemon juice and the Dijon mustard, along with two dashes each of Worcestershire and Tabasco. Add in ¼ cup grated Parmesan and a few grinds of black pepper. Now you’ll need to taste (use a small piece of lettuce if you like). If it is too strong add a bit more olive oil or some more cheese. I often add a bit more Tabasco and an extra squeeze of lemon juice for more zing. Toast the bread and cut into small ¼” cubes for croutons. Wash the romaine and chop into 2” strips. Toss the dressing with the lettuce and garnish with the croutons, chives and a bit more grated Parmigiano." 

Hail the Caesar Salad! And Quinciple as well!

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