Chef Andy: Hail Caesar! Just Not the One You Think
By Chef Andy Mueller
Owner, Galley 57
Julius may have ruled Rome, but he had nothing to do with the Caesar salad. This distinction belongs to a man named Cardini, Caesar Cardini. Some circles believe that Cardini had a restaurant, but prohibition destroyed his profit margins and he moved his place to Mexico, where the Caesar salad was invented.
Nobody really knows the exact moment or even who actually created it. Some say Cardini’s brother invented it, some say a person working at the restaurant, but as history unfolds, it was Caesar who took the credit and his name is forever associated with the creation.
It may be a bit soon, but I can’t wait any longer for spring and summer salads, and this one doesn’t rely on summer’s bountiful produce to complete the dish. In fact, the original ingredient list was quite basic, calling for eggs, olive oil, croutons, parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce, all of which are available year round.
Its elegance is in its simplicity. Whisking oil into raw eggs with a few ingredients creates a velvety, rich texture, and the additions of garlic, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce round out the profile and make the flavors explode on the palate.
This recipe relies on Dijon mustard to help keep the egg and oil emulsion tight, and it calls for more parmesan cheese than most recipes you’ll find. Give this one a try and start to think about warmer weather, healthier options coming soon, and blue skies ahead. Hail Cardini!
In a large mixing bowl, add:
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- Juice of two lemons
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
Whisk ingredients together. Place a damp towel on the counter, then place the bowl on top of the towel. This helps keep the bowl stable as you need both hands for the next step. While whisking briskly, slowly add canola oil in a slow steady stream until dressing is emulsified (about 1 cup). Add to the dressing:
- Copious amounts of fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Stir to combine. Toss chopped romaine lettuce with the dressing to lightly coat the lettuce, add more cheese to taste, top with anchovies and serve with garlic toast or fresh baked croutons. Enjoy!