6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
1 small clove of garlic
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup sunflower oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pep
1 loaf of country bread, torn into 3 cups’ worth of croutons
3 tbsp olive oil
Salad and Assembly:
Cos lettuce, 2 heads, washed and dried
This Italian American classic is beloved for good reason. It’s fresh, crunchy, creamy, tart and sharp – what more could you want‽ We suppose you could buy some good quality mayonnaise to skip the arduous process of whisking for thirty odd minutes, but believe us when we say it’s rewarding. There’s a pride and joy flavour in home made mayonnaise that you’ll never find in store bought. Enlist some friends or family and do it in shifts!
To make the croutons preheat the oven to 190°C. While the oven heats, toss the torn bread pieces with the olive oil on a baking tray, making sure each piece gets a little coating of oil. Season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow all the sides to brown. Let cool completely.
Make the dressing by chopping the anchovy fillets and garlic together along with a pinch of salt. Take the side of the knife and use it to swipe across the ingredients to mash them into a paste (like you’re flattening them across the cutting board). Give the ingredients another quick chop to ensure there are no no big hunks of garlic or anchovy. Scrape into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks, lemon juice, and the Dijon.
Place bowl on a damp tea towel so it doesn’t slide around, or enlist a friend to whole the bowl while you whisk. Start whisking in the olive oil, drop by drop – we mean that, SMALL QUANTITIES OF OIL AT A TIME. Once the olive oil is emulsified, whisk in the vegetable oil, also drop by drop. If you add in the oils too fast you run the risk of the mayonnaise splitting, this isn’t the end of the world but it’s a bit of a faff to bring it back together. Once the oils are completely incorporated and the dressing appears thick and glossy, stir in the grated parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and extra lemon juice if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Now to assemble the salad. Tear larger lettuce leaves in half and keep smaller leaves whole, placing them in a large platter/bowl. Scatter the croutons over the leaves then drizzle with the prepared dressing We usually find there’s a little too much of the mayo, but it’s always good to have on the table for people to add more as needed*. and toss with your hands ensuring no leaf or crouton goes undressed. Take your parmesan cheese and using a vegetable peeler, rain down shavings of parmesan all across your Caesar.
Serve immediately, this salad cannot wait!