Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Classic Caesar Dressing

The folks at Cooks Illustrated have a great series of "The Best..." cookbooks.  The Best Recipes.  The Best International Recipes.  The Best American Side Dishes. Etc.  They are great reference books and sit on the top left of my cookbook library shelves.

This time of year, as the 100° weather settles in, I crave salads more than ever.  Crisp and cool, they are the perfect meal requiring little to no heat and not too much energy-draining time in the kitchen.

And while I will make a chef's salad, spinach salad or farmers market salad any old day, the classic Caesar deserves a turn in the rotation.  And I found the perfect recipe for it in The New Best Recipe. I guess you could tinker with it to suit your tastes, but I see no reason to mess with perfection.

Caesar Dressing
Makes enough for four salad servings.

2 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 anchovy fillets, minced to a paste (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring 2 inches water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat.  Lower the eggs into the water and cook 45 seconds; remove with a slotted spoon.  Let cool slightly.  When cool enough to handle, crack the eggs open and separate, reserving the yolks and discarding the whites.

Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, garlic and anchovies.  Whisk until smooth.

Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.  Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste as needed.

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