One of the more delightful experiences diners can have is for a skilled waiter to prepare a Caesar salad at their table. It’s a chance for waiters to demonstrate their art by vigorously whisking, mixing, tossing and stirring the ingredients to the delight of their patrons. After croutons are added for crunch and slivers of cheese for flavor, the salad is served. Ah, perfection.
With a bit of preparation and practice, you can do this at home. If you want some pointers, search “Caesar salad preparation” on YouTube, watch several, and then develop your own technique.
Assemble all of the needed ingredients on a cart, wheel it to the table, and then amaze your guests with your mastery. They will be even more impressed if you’ve donned a tuxedo, have chilled salad plates at the ready, and are able to perform this culinary feat without a net.
Caesar Salad Tableside
2 clovesGarlic (one diced and one whole)
4+Anchovies (plus some to garnish)
1 TbspMustard gourmet
1 1/2 tspWorcestershire sauce
2 tspBalsamic vinegar
1/4 tspPepper flakes red
2 TbspLemon juice
1/4 cup +Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated
To tasteSalt and pepper
Adequate servingsRomaine lettuce
To tasteParmigiano-Reggiano cheese shaved
Adequate amountsSalad croutons (see recipe below)
Mis En Place: In small dishes or containers have ready the diced garlic, egg yolk, anchovies, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, cheese, and croutons.
Ahead of time:
- Stack about 5-6 leaves of Romaine lettuce on top of one another, and then cut and remove some of the green leaf until there is about 1” left on each side of the rib. Also remove some of the tops and bottoms of the leaves so the rib is prominent throughout the leaf. Gently tear lettuce into bite-size portions and add to a plastic container (or this can be done a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator).
- Clean egg and add to a saucepan of boiling water for 45 seconds. Separate yolk from whites, discard whites, and add yolk to a small dish.
Put salad plates in freezer.
Time: 30 Minutes
With the heel of your palm, press on a garlic clove. Remove the husk, stab clove with a fork, and rub the garlic on the inside of a wooden salad bowl.
Add prepared Romaine lettuce and croutons to salad bowl.
Add the diced garlic and the egg yolk to a metal mixing bowl.
Mash the anchovies and incorporate into the egg yolk. Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, and whisk together.
Whisk in lemon juice, then slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly.
Whisk in the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Season with slat and pepper
Add dressing to the salad and croutons. Toss until the dressing is incorporated.
Serve on a cold salad plate and garnish with the shave Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Croutons (make ahead of time)
½ loaf Crusty Italian bread. Remove the soft part. Hand tear the crusts into small cubes.
¼ cup EVOO
¼ cup Grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp Fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Add crusts to medium mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, cheese, and thyme leaves; season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine all of the flavors. Spread cubes out onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let them cool before adding them to the salad.