There are many stories about the origin of the iconic Caesar salad, though what is not in doubt is that it was invented by Caesar Cardini, an Italian who owned a restaurant in Mexico in the 1920s. Without the anchovies and with the addition of blue cheese it becomes the Western salad.
The classic dressing for Caesar salad is made with raw egg yolks which can pose a danger because of salmonella, but can you eat raw egg yolk? Yes, you can eat raw egg yolks. Eating egg yolks raw or undercooked and runny, may be the best and healthiest way for them to be eaten. To minimise the danger of salmonella, ensure that you use only the freshest of eggs that are bought from a reputable dealer or supermarket such as Carrefour. Expectant mothers, young children and the elderly are not advised to eat raw egg yolks. If you are squeamish about them, no sweat you could omit them from the dressing and grate hard cooked yolks on top of the salad and nobody would be the wiser nor would the taste significantly differ.
With almost everybody from the youngest commoner or peon to the most palsied of patricians, salad nowadays has assumed a legitimately high priority, while at the same time —increasingly—- first place on the menu.
I have never fathomed, most people are inclined to prefer it in its traditional location viz. between entrée and dessert—ostensibly because a green salad makes a clean break between meat and sweet. To which I hasten to add that the initial presentation of a light salad at dinner can be a life-saver for a host or hostess whose veritable masterpiece has, in fact, resisted and is not so ready as the guests.
Years ago , virtually all salads were once light salads; the edible parts of various herbs and plants, seasoned solely with salt—-from which the word ‘salad’ is derived. In more or less this form they play a cooperative role in reducing diets, always assuming that further sprucing up is limited to a sprinkling of lemon juice and a touch of vinegar.
For those who can be more expansive, salads mean all sorts of combinations of chilled fruit, vegetables, herbs, meat, cheese, fish etc. I acknowledge with less than 100 per cent enthusiasm; today, we have come to accept the inclusion of cereals and pasta accompanied by some form of moist dressing as part of the salad package.
At informal luncheons they may not only accompany the entrée but stand in for it. However, the main danger in the present day embarrassment of salad riches is that in carelessly planned meals the salad frequently tends to compete with the main dish, whenever or however served.
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
½ cup olive oil: none other
In 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil, above.
Break up into 2-inch length:
2 heads washed, dried romaine lettuce (available from Carrefour). Traditionally, Romaine lettuce is used but any other type of leafy lettuce will suffice.
Place the lettuce in a salad bowl and sprinkle over it:
A generous grating of black pepper
5 fillets of anchovy, cut up small or mashed to a paste)
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
And the remaining 6 tablespoons of garlic oil. Cook gently in simmering water for a couple of minutes or use raw.
Drop the egg from the shell onto the ingredients in the bowl and squeeze over the eggs:
2 to 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
Toss the salad well and serve at once.
Caesar salad as shown above
Omitting the anchovies and adding:
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese