Traditional Table Caesar Salad (with my changes)

This salad always seems imposing but once you assemble the ingredients, it’s simple. This recipe is adapted from the original 1931 edition of the Joy of Cooking. I use less salt, less vinegar, less lemon, more cheese, and more garlic than the original… and yes, I do use a raw egg, but now I use a farm fresh egg – from my own hens when I have them, from my friend Saill’s hens, from the farmers market, or from little farm stand a few blocks away from our coastal cottage . So, for better or for worse, I don’t worry about salmonella. Use your own judgment, of course.

4 or so cloves garlic, minced or squeezed
1/4 cup or so olive oil (for the croutons)
Good crusty sourdough French bread, day-old or two-day-old okay
2 heads of romaine lettuce
¾ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
5 filets of anchovies (salted, in olive oil) mushed with a fork
A few drops Worcestershire sauce
More olive oil for the dressing(start with ¼ cup)
1-2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 raw egg
Optional: Lemon juice from ½ lemon
~2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Make the croutons: Slice the bread into one or two inch cubes, enough to fill a large cast iron pan in a single layer. Sauté the bread cubes with the garlic and three or four tablespoons of the olive oil, then toast them in a low oven until they’re oily and crisp. Let them cool.

Make the salad: Trim, wash, dry, and chop the lettuce into two inch lengths. Place in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, mustard over. Add the anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, the olive oil, and the vinegar. Break an egg on top, and squeeze the lemon juice over the egg (if you like it sour). Add the croutons and cheese and toss.