This salad was reportedly invented by Italian restaurateur Caesar Cardini while he was chef at the famous Hotel Caesar's in Tijuana.
Yield: serves 4
- 3 heads romaine lettuce
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1⁄3 baguette, cut crosswise into 1⁄4" slices
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Dash worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg, coddled for 1 minute
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Trim about 1" from the bottom of each head of lettuce and peel away all dark green leaves until you reach the pale-green-tipped yellow leaves, or heart of the lettuce (the longest leaves should be no longer than 7"). Discard outer leaves or save for another use. Separate leaves, wash, then pat dry thoroughly with paper towels; set aside.
- Heat 2⁄3 cup of the oil with the garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat until garlic is golden, about 5 minutes, then remove and discard garlic. Fry bread slices in oil in batches until deep golden, 15-20 seconds per side. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer croutons to a plate, and set aside.
- Put lemon juice, vinegar, and worcestershire sauce in a large wooden salad bowl, crack coddled egg into bowl, and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth. Gradually add remaining 1⁄3 cup oil, stirring constantly. Add cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add croutons, then lettuce, and toss well.