Isn’t it so hard to beat a Caesar salad? Whether it’s as a starter or a main, this salad will not disappoint. Cos or romaine lettuce work best and I like to use really thin rashers of pancetta. They add a really nice saltiness and crispiness to the salad and take no time at all to cook. If you are using thicker bacon or would prefer it less crisp then just cook to taste but make sure you do this shortly before serving because I think this salad works well with a bit of hot-and-cold feeling and bacon is always best as soon as it’s done. For the croutons, I use ciabatta. It is so airy it really gives unbelievable crunch. But without a doubt the star of the show is a really good dressing and the one below is PHENOMENAL! It does have anchovy which, to a lot of people, is a deal breaker but here people don’t even know they are eating it, though I would tell people it’s in there beforehand. This salad (except for the bacon) can be made hours earlier by making the dressing and leaving it in the fridge, washing, drying and chopping the lettuce and leaving it in the salad bowl and toasting the croutons and setting aside until serving. Once everything is tossed together, I serve and add some finely grated parmesan. Real stuff, not that powdered rubbish.
1 egg yolk
juice form half a lemon
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
a half a tsp of chilli flakes
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets, mashed
half a tsp freshly ground black pepper
200ml vegetable oil
100ml olive oil (plus more for drizzling on croutons)
For the croutons, tear up the bread into small mouthful-sized pieces. Lay on a baking tray and toss in olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes at 180 C or until starting to colour.
In a bowl, combine the egg yolk, chilli flakes, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy and dijon and lightly whisk to combine.
Mix oils together and slowly whisk into the rest of the dressing ingredients. Drop by drop initially, speeding up as more oil is incorporated.
As I used thin pancetta, I roasted it on a rack at 180 C for 20 minutes.
Add bacon, croutons and dressing (to taste) to your lettuce and toss until all the leaves are coated.
Plate up and add the finely grated parmesan.