I was compelled to make a Caesar because I missed it! It is one of my favorite salads and I have not had it in a while. When we were in Kuching, we visited a more Western-fusion restaurant called Blah-Blah-Blah and I ordered the “Ceasar”. It was a good salad, but it was constructed more like a Cobb with strips of cold cuts, mayonnaise-esque dressing and ingredients not known to be in a Classic Caesar.
I made my mayo from scratch so I could create a very anchovy-garlic flavor as my base. I found a good Parmesan and used a microfine grater to get a powdery consistency. We bought an Italian brand if high grade anchovy in oil but I did omit the Worcestershire sauce (because I forgot), and I didn’t have bread to make croutons. Soft bread for this dish is better, I think, because you can soak up any extra dressing!
Each Romaine leaf is individually dressed with a brush on both sides. (I normally wear gloves while doing this so my hands are not oily and garlicky smelling after). Then, I hand grate Parmesan right before serving and add a smidgen of black pepper. The trick to a good Caesar is anchovy, which is why Worcestershire is used, but I find it that condiment a bit salty and sometimes I like to omit it. The anchovy should be slightly salty, firm, and fragrant of fish.. not pungent and overbearing. The kind of anchovies thrown on pizzas is over-salty and dry. Anchovies on Caesars should be lovely!
The other main thing in an authentic taste is using a coddled egg. (This dish should not be consumed by pregnant women or young children as eating undercooked eggs is dangerous. Make at your own risk!)
My recipe for mayo-turned-into-dressing.
For a truly yummy presentation, I would use only 4-5 leaves, stacked, garnish with three or four long shavings of Parmesan (made with a veggie peeler), and lay 2 anchovy filets across the top of the Parm.
Sorry about writing in the book!
(Having a librarian-mom meant I was always scolded for dog-earring pages, leaving them page down open, making the spine stretch unnecessarily, or writing on the pages!).
I received this book when I became a full time employee at Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn division. I don’t know if Chuck actually signed this, but I think it’s awesome! He was probably 90 at the time? (He’s 97, now!)