We don’t eat salads over winter, but now that it is spring, it’s supposedly time for lighter eating. That bikini body isn’t going to appear from nowhere. Just kidding. This is not that kind of blog. I invested in a one piece last year and I don’t think I’ll be getting a bikini any time soon.
Caesar salad is a gutsy dish that should not be reserved for summer. It’s odd that while I love Caesar salad, I’ve never tried to make it before. The anchovy mayo is inspired by this rich anchovy mayo from The Fridge, Kingsland.
Caesar salad is one of those salads that shouldn’t really be classed as a salad in case it gets confused for rabbit food or something else particularly healthy. It tastes amazing because of all the kick ass ingredients like parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, bacon, olives and anchovies.
Parmesan and anchovies
When it comes to pungent foods like anchovies and parmesan, buy the best quality version you can afford. I always thought I hated parmesan, but I’ve recently realised it’s cheap parmesan that smells like vomit. Quality anchovies have a moreish flavour that adds a stunning salty dimension to a dish.
How to make boiled eggs
I have always been able to boil eggs. Maybe it is my superpower. I adore a soft boiled egg boasting a set white and a slightly gooey, shiny, orange yolk with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Yum. I’ve never had the unsightly green ring around my yolks which appears due to overcooking. I guess that’s one upside of enjoying soft boiled eggs! It’s hard to know where other cooks go wrong, but here are some of my observations.
Egg boiling tips
- Always use a timer
- Aways start your eggs off in cold water
- Use the smallest pot for the job
- The water level should be 1 cm above the eggs
- Turn on the stove to a medium heat and set the timer for 10 minutes for soft boiled, 12 minutes for hard boiled
- Immediately drain water into the sink and cool eggs under cold running water until cool enough to handle.
- Perfect boiled eggs!
Caesar Salad with Anchovy Mayo
4 thick slices of crusty white bread (I used ciabatta)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 anchovy fillets
2 big tablespoons Best Foods mayonnaise (Hellers)
Half a fancy, romaine or cos lettuce
2 handfuls black olives, pitted
3 rashers streaky bacon, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
4 soft boiled eggs, quartered
Optional: Peeled and cooked prawns, cooked chicken.
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C/390°F.
- Cut 4 thick slices of white bread and drizzle with olive oil. Spread minced garlic on top and tear or cut bread into chunky pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes until croutons are golden and beautiful.
- To make anchovy mayo, put anchovy fillets into a small bowl or cup and use a wooden spoon to break up fillets into a paste. Add mayo and mix well.
- Wash and dry lettuce, roughly tear into smaller pieces and arrange into 2 rimmed bowls. Add the anchovy mayo and mix well to coat the leaves.
- Scatter garlic croutons, black olives, bacon pieces and eggs on top. Drizzle with Worcestershire sauce and a generous grind of black pepper.
- Serve topped with grated parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan).
I like to serve salads in what is called a rimmed soup bowl. It’s that shallow bowl that lies somewhere between a bowl and a plate. You know, with gently sloping sides so that nothing rolls off the edge but you can rummage through the plate picking out bits, mixing and tasting without having to dig too deep into the bowl. At our house, we call this piece of dinnerware the bowl-plate. We used to have just one bowl-plate but last Christmas, my sister coincidentally got me a matching one. Now there is no um-ing and ahh-ing on who gets the coveted bowl-plate.