Zuni Cafe's Caesar Salad

Ingredients

  • Croutons
  • 4-5 oz. of day-old artisan bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (gluten-free if you're avoiding gluten)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt

  • Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • cup olive oil
  • 6-9 anchovy fillets, mashed (or ~ 1 ½ Tbsp minced)
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 large cold eggs
  • about ½ ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (the juice from about 1 ½ lemons)
  • fine grain sea salt

  • Salad
  • 2 large or 3 medium heads of romaine lettuce (you'll want around 1 ½ pounds of usable leaves)

Instructions

  • Croutons
  • Preheat the oven to 350 deg F
  • In a medium bowl toss the bread cubes with olive oil and lightly season with salt.
  • Toss again to make sure each crouton is evenly coated before placing the croutons on a sheet pan. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes.
  • Check for doneness - you're going for something crisp on the outside with a slightly tender on the inside.
  • Remove the croutons from the oven and set aside

  • Prep the Romaine
  • Meanwhile, remove and discard any brown or leathery leaves from the romaine, keeping only the best whole leaves.
  • Trim the bottom of the leaves before washing and drying them
  • Dry the leaves with a spinner, wrap the greens in paper towels and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve

  • Dressing
  • In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, anchovies, and garlic
  • Add the eggs, a few sprinkles of cheese and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until completely emulsified.
  • Add the lemon juice, making sure to strain out any seeds before adding to the dressing. Whisk again
  • Taste the dressing by itself and then with a leaf of lettuce (or a crouton, if you'd like)
  • Adjust the flavors as needed
  • (You'll have around 1 ½ cups of dressing)

  • Assemble and Serve
  • Place the romaine in a large salad bowl
  • Add most of the dressing, folding and tossing gently until every leaf is coated (add more dressing if needed)
  • Dust with most of the remaining parmesan, add most of the croutons and toss again
  • To serve, lay out large cold plates, then layer in larger, then medium and then small leaves of the dressed romaine on each plate.
  • Add the last splash of dressing to the remaining croutons before evenly distributing them on the plates.
  • Add a last dusting of cheese to each
Serves: 4