Some folks say that the tastiest things in life can become effortless. Pop song metaphors aside, the recipe below is fast and deceptively easy.
The substitution of Vegemite for anchovies was an act of desperation when a vegetarian relative dropped in, but proved a winner. The kids now prefer Vegemite. Go figure.
This can be a family meal or a special romantic surprise for when the stars align and all the kids are on sleepovers.
Caesar Salad (serves 6)
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp anchovy past (or 1 tsp vegemite for vegetarians)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (two swirls around the bowl)
- ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 large or 3 small heads of romaine lettuce
- Salt & pepper to taste
Season the wooden bowl by rubbing the cut side around the inside. Place the anchovy paste (or vegemite) into the bowl with the garlic, lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper. Use two forks to blend into a paste.
Add the olive oil, the egg yolks, worcestershire sauce and mustard. Use the forks like a whisk to whip the liquid until it has a slight froth. Then add the parmesan cheese and whip again until the dressing begins to thicken.
Slice the lettuce into 1-2 inch thick strips using a sharp knife. You can rip the leaves by hand, but this will bruise the lettuce. (Note: when shopping look for lettuce with less green leaf and more of the thick, crunchy spines.) Add the lettuce to the bowl and toss with croutons.
Croutons (if you want to go all out):
- 1 loaf french bread
- ½ stick butter or three tbsp olive oil
- Garlic powder and oregano to taste
Set oven to 400° F and melt butter over low heat. Cut french bread into ½ inch cubes and place in a bowl. Toss with the melted butter or olive oil and whatever dry spice you would like (in this case garlic powder and oregano). Evenly space croutons on a baking sheet and place in the oven until browned (about 15 to 20 minutes, remembering to turn once). This can be made a few hours in advance.
Pairings: There’s only one combination — caesar salad, black bean soup & a bottle of cabernet sauvignon.