Little gem caesar

Little gem caesar

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

A classic. The ingredients for the dressing all come from the storecupboard. A good Caesar is a simple Caesar: just three ingredients – crisp crunchy lettuce, toasted bread and thin slivers of Parmesan – bound in the bowl by an intensely savoury dressing. Cold roast chicken and chicken skin crackling will work very well here, but don’t say I said so.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped
2 garlic cloves, 1 crushed, 1 whole unpeeled and slightly bashed
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2-1 lemon, juiced, to taste
2 large egg yolks
100ml vegetable oil, plus 3 tablespoons to cook the croutons
3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese, (and extra to serve as shavings is nice)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 thick slices sourdough or any rustic bread, torn into pieces
3 little gem hearts, leaves separated, or use Cos or Romaine if you like

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Whisk together the anchovies, crushed garlic, mustard, lemon juice and egg yolks. Add the oil, drop by drop to start with, then in a very thin stream until thickened, whisking until the dressing is thick and glossy. You can do this by hand in a bowl or use a food processor, but just be sure to add the oil very slowly to begin with so the dressing doesn’t split – essentially you are making a mayonnaise here.
  3. Add the Parmesan, then loosen the texture of the dressing with a splash of water or lemon juice to the consistency of double cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  4. Toss the bread with the 3 tablespoons of oil and the bashed whole garlic. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  5. In a bowl mix together the lettuce, croutons and dressing. Top with some Parmesan shavings if you like.
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