The original recipe for this salad was created by Cesare Cardini in the 1920’s in California. There are many different recipes for the dressing, but the key ingredients remain the same – egg, lemon, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, a dash of Tabasco and a oil. This creamy dressing is then mixed with sweet Romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons and parmesan cheese. Some people like to add a couple of anchovy fillets – whether to the dressing or to the leaves themselves. We’ve omitted them all together to make a vegetarian friendly version. Once made any leftover dressing can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for 3 days.
1. First make the croutons: Preheat the oven Fan 160oC/180oC/Gas Mark 4. Place a small roasting tray in the oven to heat up. Cut the bread, crusts and all, into chunky crouton shapes. Add the oil to the hot oven tray, then add the bread and quickly stir to coat in hot oil. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 10 mins or until crisp and golden. Cool.
2. To make the dressing: Place the egg yolk, lemon, mustard and two sauces in a medium bowl. Add plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper and use a whisk to beat together.
4. Break the lettuce into leaves, then thickly slice these. Place in a bowl, add the croutons, half the cheese and half the dressing then mix well to coat the leaves. Drizzle over the reaming dressing and scatter over the cheese. Serve straight away.