Caesar salad. It’s a classic. Crisp leaves of romaine lettuce dressed in a creamy emulsion of garlic, lemon, worcestershire sauce, egg yolks and oil, scattered with crunchy croutons and a grating of parmesan. For me, Caesar salad isn’t Caesar salad without mashing an anchovy or two into the dressing – to really get that punch of umami that the worcestershire hints at.
The usual mad whisking of an egg yolk with 150ml of olive oil gives a luxurious dressing, far superior to any ready-made offering, but I thought I’d share my cheat’s version.
It’s a dressing especially suited to those wanting to tighten their belts and drop a couple of pounds – I’m talking financial as well as dietary. So what’s the magic ingredient? Yogurt. Whisk in a tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil, the oil from the tin of anchovies, a pulverised fillet or two and a spritz of lemon and you’re half-way there.
RECIPE: CHEAT’S CAESAR SALAD
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter
2 little gem or 1 Romaine lettuce
1 slice of granary bread, cut into chunks
A generous grating of parmesan
For the dressing
1 heaped tablespoon of yoghurt
1 tablespoon of garlic infused olive oil
The oil from a drained 50g tin of anchovy fillets
2 anchovy fillet, mashed
The juice of a quarter of a lemon
A dash of worcestershire sauce
A pinch of mustard powder
A grinding of pepper
INSTRUCTIONS: Toss the cubes of bread in a teaspoon of the oil and bake in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes. Don’t forget about these, like toasting bread under a grill, they can go from just colouring to burnt in an instant!
Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing well, to your taste. If you don’t have a bottle of garlic-infused oil, crush half a clove of garlic and add it to the dressing. If you like a more lemony tang add a spritz more lemon, want more umami depth add another anchovy, or if you are afraid of vampires chuck in a whole clove. That’s what I mean by to your taste, after all, you’re the one eating it!
Toss the lettuce leaves in the dressing so they are well coated. Sprinkle over the croutons, grating over some parmesan and enjoy.