By Chef Marc-Alexandre Mercier
When I was a kid, I was a very picky eater.
(Sorry, Mom!) One of my worst enemies was lettuce, that strange green product that seemed to taste just like grass. It took a lot of hard work and commitment to begin to tolerate the stuff, to learn to actually like it, and finally to embrace it, as I discovered the joy of eating something so healthy and refreshing. But I would never have got there without the stepping stone of a good, rich Caesar salad dressing to help me along. And the realization that I could enjoy foods that I previously disliked, as long as they were prepared in a certain way, was a big part of what first got me interested in cooking. As it happened, Caesar salad was the first recipe I ever made out of a cookbook.
– Marc-Alexandre Mercier
- 1 egg yolk
- Juice of 1 lime
- I garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp capers, minced
- 30 g (1 oz) anchovy fillets, minced
- 125 mL (about ½ cup) canola oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp butter
- 500 mL (about 2 cups) of cubed bread, cut about 2 cm (1 inch) square
- 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn
- 40 g (1½ oz) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 servings (as an appetizer)
Heat a skillet on medium, add the butter, and when it foams, add the bread. Lower heat and—tossing frequently—cook bread until crisp and golden on all sides. Season with salt and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl whisk together the egg, lime juice, garlic, capers and anchovy. Then slowly add the canola and olive oil in a thin stream, while whisking continuously, so as to end up with a thick, mayonnaise-like dressing. Season to taste. Then in a salad bowl toss the lettuce with the dressing, top with the Parmigiano Reggiano, and serve.