Week 52 – Caesar Salad

b.salad 01.02.12 cesar

Here it is, the fifty-second and final salad of my ‘Year of Salads.’ There were a couple times when I wasn’t sure if I could prepare yet another, different, seasonal salad.  There were a couple weekly narratives that didn’t simply roll off the tongue.  But I did it and I am so glad I did.  There were a couple experiments that my husband didn’t appreciate as much as others.  There were a couple evenings when my husband looked exasperatingly at our meal that was quickly getting cold or burned while I took a picture of yet another salad.  But I recently heard him tell friends that he has a couple new favorite salads (here and here)and that he, too, has enjoyed ‘The Year of Salads.’

It was a fun goal, a good goal.  I learned how to use a couple seasonal ingredients that had previously intimidated me (here and here).  I learned how to make a couple of the classics (here and here and here).  I learned how to combine ingredients to create a new ‘taste sensation’ (here and here and here) And I feel that I can now whip out a tasty, fresh dressing and no longer have to rely on the goopy, salty, store-bought creations.  So for these reasons I would say that the goal was successful in helping me achieve a couple new objectives.

Now, I am feeling a little at loose ends.  I have yet to identify a similar goal for this year.  I have no driving force or motivating factor for directing the path for this blog, but perhaps that is ok.  Perhaps taking a more organic approach towards learning and writing about the land and the plants and food that come from that land is ok.

My final salad is another classic.  You can find Caesar salad in almost any restaurant.   There are many, many recipes, versions and interpretations of the salad that was reportedly created from a couple leftover ingredients.  Isn’t that the beauty of the most delicious salads?   To look into the fridge and find a couple items that might go well together only to discover a new family favorite.  That’s what the creators of the Caesar salad discovered when two brothers in Tijuana, Mexico (there is a dispute as to who actually brought the salad to the kitchen for the first time) combined some leftover romaine, an egg, anchovy and a little old cheese.  They discovered a combination of flavors that have been repeated in thousands of kitchens.  Bon Appetit

Caesar Salad
Another classic salad.

Serves 6
Dressing
1 egg (since you will be serving it raw, make sure it is fresh)
4 drained anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½  cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup parmesan
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Salad
6 cups romaine lettuce, cut into 1/2″ strips
2 cups croutons
½ cup parmesan, grated

In a food processor or blender, combine egg, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, and Worcestershire. Process to blend. With the machine running, slowly add the oil, processing until the mixture is emulsified. Stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the romaine in a large bowl. Pour about 1/2 the dressing over the lettuce and toss to evenly coat all leaves. If the lettuce is drier than preferred add enough dressing to taste and toss thoroughly. Add croutons and parmesan and toss lightly. Serve immediately.

About the author
As a Landscape Designer and Architect, I have a passion for food and the land from which it grows. As a resident of Portland, Oregon I am fortunate that great food is easy to find and cultivate. And as a member of a wonderful family, I am lucky to have a husband and two children who enjoy my dalliances in restaurant sampling, park playing, creative cooking and garden tending as much as I do. I started this blog in 2010 (on what would have been my grandfather’s 100th birthday!) as an outlet for exploring and journaling the ways that we can eat, grow and live more sustainably on our earth. I believe we are at a critical juncture in our evolution where we need to closely look at our environment and decide to work with it rather than against it. Choosing foods that are grown and raised close to home. Appreciating and taking care of the land around us. Talking about it all over the dining table. These are a few of the many actions that will make our world a better place.