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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Caesar sans anchovies and raw egg

There are days that time, diet or middle of the week schedules prevent engaging in the art of planning, preparing and dining. When this happens I usually turn to some type of salad, that in the correct portion can serve as a meal. One of my favorites is a Caesar Salad topped with sliced salmon or chicken.

However I do not like anchovies, nor do I care for raw egg so when I found a Caesar dressing recipe in a cooking magazine several years ago that did not include the anchovies and the egg I was delighted. The recipe suggested Worcestershire sauce to replace the anchovies. It was the first I knew that anchovies were an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce, and therefore concluded that it was not the taste of anchovy but the texture and look that I did not like. And the exclusion of the raw egg did not diminish the taste (for me, and I'm the one making it...sometimes the cook needs to be selfish!)

Subsequently I discovered anchovy paste and a new husband (no causal relationship) who really liked anchovies so I began using the paste instead of the Worcestershire sauce. And being the good husband that he is, he is satisfied with the taste that the paste gives the home. When he dines out he continues to put those little slimy things on that beautiful bed of crisp lettuce.

Caesar Salad with Salmon: Usually I have salmon left from a recent meal (preserved in the freezer) to use for the salad. In addition to the anchovy paste my dressing includes, olive oil, balsamic or white wine vinegar, garlic, Parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper and lemon juice...all portions according to taste.

I toss the romaine lettuce with the dressing, dish onto the plate, add more grated cheese and then lay the salmon on top. I do not put croutons in the salad, but prefer to serve a crusty bread on the side.

In the correct portion this is a meal.

We have not found a wine that goes well with vinegar salad dressings, so this dish is great for those days that wine is not in the picture.


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