Original Caesar Salad
20 Lg, fresh Romain lettuce leaves
2 Garlic Cloves, divided use
1/2 Cup olive oil, divided use
1 1/2 Cups stale French bread cubes 1/2-inch square
1 Egg (optional, if replaced with Mayonnaise)
1/4 Teaspoon salt
Juice of one-half lemon
1/2 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 Cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Note: A raw or coddled egg is traditional in Caesar salad. In compliance with today’s raised salmonella consciousness, the egg may be omitted from this recipe. In that case, to encourage the dressing to cling to the leaves of lettuce, we recommend adding a tablespoon of commercial mayonnaise to the bowl and mixing it with the olive oil.
Wash the lettuce and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Use paper towels to dry the lettuce leaves. Wrap them in the towels and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in an oven proof frying pan. Crush 1 garlic clove and add it to the oil, then add bread cubes. Toss, coating bread with the oil. (Add salt if desired) When the bread begins to brown, transfer the pan to the oven and heat the bread, tossing occasionally until the cubes are crisp and nicely browned – about 15 minutes.
Cut the remaining garlic clove and rub the cut edges against the inside surface of the salad bowl. Ease the egg (in the shell) into boiling water; cook exactly one minute, removing from water, and crack it into the salad bowl. Mix it with a fork. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
Add lettuce, tossing it well to coat with dressing. Add grated Parmesan cheese and toss again.
Arrange the salad on plates – two plates if the salad is a main course, four if it is an appetizer. Add pepper to taste. Top with crouton’s.