Caesar salad, that ever present item on Continental restaurant menus of decades past, doesn't come from the continent at all -- it's from Tijuana, Mexico, where Caesar Cardini, an Italian restaurateur, created it on Fourth of July weekend in 1924.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
3 cups 1-inch cubes of French or Italian bread
salt and pepper to taste
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 egg, boiled for 30 seconds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
scant teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 heads romaine lettuce, the pale green inner leaves washed, spun dry, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 12 cups)
Parmigiano-Reggiano curls formed with a vegetable peeler
1. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Warm the olive oil with the garlic in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard the garlic. Toss the bread cubes with the oil, spread them on a baking sheet, and season them with salt and pepper. Bake the croutons for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
2. Make the dressing: Mince the garlic to form a fine paste. Whisk together the garlic paste, egg, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.
3. In a large bowl toss the romaine with the croutons and the dressing until the salad is combined well. Top the salad with the Parmigiano-Reggiano curls.
Caesar salad, that ever present item on Continental restaurant menus of decades past, doesn't come from the continent at all—it's from Tijuana, Mexico, where Caesar Cardini, an Italian restaurateur, created it on Fourth of July weekend in 1924. This version follows his classic recipe—except that it's much, much lighter, more refreshing, and more lemony than any version you've tried before. By the way, Cardini did not include anchovies in his original. He did include Worcestershire sauce, which is made, in part, from anchovies. Later salad revisionists added the small filets themselves. Serves 6