Honestly, I think the real Caesar Salad has lost it's way and morphed into a shadow of its former self... thanks in part to sloppy renditions found at fast food places and chain restaurants today.
This version is not an authentically classic either, but it is Donna Hay's take on the classic and far superior to most. I pretty much followed her lead, but I did change just a few things around... Donna serves her eggs on the runny side ~ I like mine cooked just a bit longer, not oozing for this recipe. But that is just a matter of personal preference.
I liked her idea of thin slices of toasted baguettes in lieu of jaw-breaking croutons. Donna simply brushes them with olive oil and toasts in a 320* (F) oven for about 15 minutes until lightly golden and crisp.
One thing I noted, in this particular recipe from Donna ~ she adds NO garlic to this version. We
I rubbed the toasted slices with a peeled garlic clove while they were still warm, and sprinkled each with a few flakes of sea salt, I also added a small clove of garlic as I was making the dressing in the blender.
Donna's other twist is the addition of bacon, tossed with pure maple syrup and baked on a parchment lined baking sheet until a deep mahogany color. I was a little apprehensive about this element, and although it was delicious I felt it detracted from the salad and would omit it next time. I would opt for plain smoked bacon, some ribbons of prosciutto, or would skip the meat altogether.
Bacon would be great prepared this way for breakfast ~ but it just didn't compliment the anchovy flavor in the dressing. At all. IMO.
Instead of being chopped or torn, the smallish heads of romaine are cut in half, lengthwise and placed on the plate in one piece (providing lots of nooks to cradle the dressing.) :D
Donna makes her own mayonnaise as a base for her Caesar dressing. I've done on occasion, but this time I used a good quality commercial mayo (Best Foods/Hellman's, etc.), added two small anchovy fillets (tinned), a bit of Dijon mustard, small garlic clove, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, and whirled in the electric blender until smooth, adding a little water to achieve a pourable consistency. You can add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Thin leaves of Parmesan replace the grated or shredded cheese finish.
As you can see, there is no 'recipe' needed for this one, just a description ~ it is more a matter of just presenting the salad components a little differently.
I thought it was a very good and interesting way of interpreting the flavors of a Caesar salad, probably not my all time favorite ~ but right up there near the top. And it beats the pants off of those old, tired versions which are all too prevalent in most restaurants today.
If you try it this way, I hope you love it. Thank you for stopping by to visit, I would love to hear your thoughts or comments.
Have a great week everyone! xo