Caesar Salad with Pancetta

By • May 14, 2010 17 Comments

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Author Notes: That it was invented in Tijuana, Mexico, by an Italian, I did not know until two years ago. I claimed it as American. That the original may not have included anchovies? I did not know! There's a lot I don't know. I have no problem with raw egg yolk, but in this version's dressing I adore the creaminess of a softly-cooked yellow... - Marie ViljoenMarie Viljoen

Food52 Review: This salad is everything a Caesar should be -- assertive, complex, and rich -- with a few bonus points tacked on for the inspired use of pancetta (both on its own and as an instrument for crisping the homemade sourdough croutons). Marie Viljoen's dressing is mostly traditional (egg yolk, anchovy, garlic, olive oil) but veers towards the creative with the addition of lime juice, which contributes a pleasantly bitter hit of acid. If you find the notion of swiping each individual crouton with fresh garlic overwrought, trust us -- it's worth it. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 1

  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 yolk from a lightly boiled egg (coddled for a minute or two in boiling water)
  • 2 Garlic cloves crushed fine
  • 3 Anchovy fillets, chopped small
  • Black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano
  • Salt
  • 1 Romaine lettuce head, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 thick slices pancetta, cooked till crispy
  • 1 slice sourdough bread, torn into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 Garlic clove, peeled, kept whole
  1. In a bowl beat the lime juice into the softly boiled egg yolk.
  2. Add the crushed garlic.
  3. Add the finely-chopped anchovies.
  4. Add black pepper.
  5. Gradually whisk in the oil.
  6. Add the Parmigiano.
  7. Taste. If you need salt, add it now.
  8. To the bowl, add the Romaine and toss well with your hands.
  9. Lick your fingers.
  10. In the same pan in which the pancetta crisped, toast the torn-up pieces of sourdough over medium heat. When crispy, rub each piece lightly with the whole garlic clove. Toss over salad.
  11. Add pieces of crispy pancetta.
  12. Enjoy with some cold, fruity white wine.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Salads

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