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Caesar Salad
Romaine with egg dressing, Parmesan, and garlic croutons
From The Way to Cook, by Julia Child

You will hardly be a Caesar enthusiast if you've dined only on restaurant varieties made with cheap oil, store-bought croutons, garlic powder, and old bottled cheese! But what a marvelous salad it is when prepared with fine fresh ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 or 2 heads of fresh young romaine (1 pound or so)
2 large cloves of garlic
About 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups plain unseasoned homemade toasted croutons, 3/8-inch size
2 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup (1 ounce) best-quality imported Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Instructions:

The lettuce:

Wash and dry the romaine. Break small leaves into crosswise halves or thirds; separate large leaves from their central rib, discard the tough rib, and tear the leaf halves into halves or thirds. Place the romaine in your salad bowl, cover with slightly dampened paper towels, and refrigerate.

The garlic croutons:

Mince and mash the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, then with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Strain into a small frying pan, pressing the oil out of the garlic. Set over medium heat; when hot, turn in the toasted croutons, tossing and turning them for a minute or so to coat them with the oil. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

The eggs:

Pierce the large ends of the eggs with an egg pricker or push-pin, and lower them into a pan of boiling water. Boil exactly 1 minute; remove them and set aside. *Ahead-of-time note: May be prepared several hours in advance to this point.

Finishing the salad:

Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil over the romaine and toss to coat the leaves nicely. Sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon of salt, several grinds of pepper, and toss again. Squeeze on the lemon juice, add 6 drops of Worcestershire, break in the eggs, and toss to blend. Taste a leaf, and correct seasoning. Toss briefly with the cheese, and finally with the croutons. Serve at once.

Anchovy Note: The original recipe contained no anchovies. However, you may certainly add them if you wish, mashing them into a purée with a bit of the olive oil and tossing them in before adding the cheese.

Yield: For 6 servings

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