Caesar Salad With Curry Croutons
I enjoyed this salad at a recent party. I wasn't very hungry so I decided just to have a little salad and a glass of wine. It just goes to show that when you least expect it, something marvelous comes along and I found this salad to be just that. The flavor of the curried croutons combined with the traditional Caesar salad was a surprise and delight.
My friend told me that she received this recipe from her favorite Italian restaurant in New York. The restaurant was a few blocks away from the hotel where she always stayed, so whenever she was in town she had dinner there. She often had the same waiter and whenever she ordered this salad he would prepare it at the table for her. After many years of cajoling she was able to talk him into sharing the recipe with her.
Like many of the best recipes, once the secret is out it must shared among friends. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did.
- 2 cups french bread, stale
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- 2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 anchovy fillets, diced
- 1 tsp. black pepper, ground
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 1 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
First make the croutons. Slice the French bread into cubes. I like to use stale bread. It just seems to work better. Heat the butter until frothy and then add the bread cubes. The first time I did this my skillet was too small and I ended up with more croutons on the floor than in my salad, so use a nice, large skillet. As you are sauteing the bread, add the curry. Just sprinkle it over the top, getting it evenly distributed. Continue to stir and saute the bread until the cubes are nice and toasty. Transfer the croutons from the skillet to a bowl and set aside.
Now you are ready to make the dressing. Place the minced garlic in a large wooden bowl and mash. My friend told me to use two forks, but I cheated and used the back of a wooden spoon, which seemed to work just fine.
Next add the diced anchovies and mash them up a bit with the garlic.
Now add the pepper and salt. You may want to use the salt with a light hand or skip it all together because of the salty flavor of the anchovies.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and lemon juice then whisk in the raw egg yolk. If you are squeamish about eating raw egg, you can leave it out. Whisk these ingredients together just long enough to get them well incorporated. If you whisk it too long, the egg gets thick.
At this point you are ready to add the olive oil. Whisk in the olive oil until all the ingredients are combined and then add 1/2 a cup of the Parmesan cheese, reserve the other half for sprinkling over the top of the finished salad.
Give the dressing a good stir and toss in the Romaine. Make sure the lettuce is torn into bite size pieces, but not too small.
Add the croutons, toss again and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Time to prepare: 45 minutes.