Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Caesar salad from my childhood

Oh, how I have been searching for this recipe for years and it turns out it has been under my nose all this time!  I have fond memories of my Mum rubbing down the big wooden salad bowl with a clove of raw garlic in preparation for this salad.  The dressing ingredients go into the bowl, get mixed up a bit, then tossed with lettuce and croutons and eaten immediately.  The lemon juice was usually squeezed out of a lemon itself on a deep beige-coloured Tupperware citrus juicer much like this one, but definitely beige.

This Caesar salad was often a side for a spaghetti supper.  Sometimes there was luscious garlic bread to go along with it.  Boy, those were good times.

I made this tonight to accompany a meal of lasagna.  I also made a bit of elbow macaroni to be served with spaghetti sauce for those who did not want an assembled lasagna.  We invited a small family over to join us for supper and I made the salad with someone else, what fun!  We used garlic from a local farm that we visit now and then to feed the goats and collect the hens' eggs.  Mmmmm.

I found the recipe in my Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1975) inscribed with "Menard" inside the front cover.  Thank you, Mrs Menard.  And thank you, Mum, for finding this cookbook for me many moons ago.  I will cherish it for many more.

Caesar Salad
from Betty Crocker
6 servings

1 clove garlic, halved (I minced about 3 cloves of pungent, oily garlic)
1/4 cup olive oil (you can use as little as 3 Tbsp and increase the lemon to 1/4 c with 2 Tbsp water)
8 anchovy fillets, cut up (or 2 tsp anchovy paste)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
     freshly ground pepper
1 large or 2 small bunches romaine (about 10 cups)
1 lemon juice (3 Tbsp)
   garlic croutons (recipe below)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 - just before serving, rub large salad bowl with cut clove of garlic.  If desired, allow a few small pieces of garlic to remain in bowl.  Add oil, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and mustard; mix thoroughly.
- into salad bowl, tear romaine into bite-size pieces.  Toss until leaves glisten; squeeze juice from lemon over romaine.  Toss until leaves are well coated.  Sprinkle croutons and cheese over salad; toss.

Garlic Croutons
- heat oven to 400F.  Trim crusts from 4 slices white bread.  Generously butter both sides of bread slices; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp garlic powder.  Cut into 1/2" cubes; place in baking pan.  Bake 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp.  (I used a stale plain bagel.)

 No picture of the salad, I didn't thing to snap one up then the salad was just so good that I wish I had.  When I make it again (I think that's going to be very soon!) I'll get a picture and post it here.

In parting, I'll leave you with a little blurb Betty Crocker provided at the beginning of this particular recipe as food for thought: "Make a show of this one!  Arrange pre-measured ingredients on a tray and ask the man-of-you-house to toss the salad at the table."

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