Classic Caesar Salad
The croutons are best made no more than half an hour before assembling the salad.
For the Croutons
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf rustic Italian bread (8 to 10 ounces), crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 20 ounces romaine lettuce, outer leaves discarded, inner leaves washed and dried
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese, or 2 1/2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the cubes of bread, and toss until coated. Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper; toss until evenly coated. Spread the bread in a single layer on a 12-by-17-inch baking sheet. Bake until croutons are golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Place the garlic, anchovy fillets, and salt in a wooden salad bowl. Using two dinner forks, mash the garlic and anchovies into a paste. Using one fork, whisk in the pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and egg yolk. Whisk in the olive oil.
Chop the romaine leaves into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Add the croutons, romaine, and cheese to the bowl, and toss well. If you wish, grate extra cheese over the top. Serve immediately.
Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, or anyone whose health is compromised.