All the flavors of a Caesar salad are here: garlic, anchovy, Parm, and olive oil, in quite outgoing proportions. The difference between this and a more textbook Caesar is not only that I’ve swapped out the romaine for fantastically crunchy celery, but also that this dressing is more of a free-flowing vinaigrette that coats every slice. Instead of croutons, there are tender, salty olives and vinegary peppers.
Reprinted from That Sounds So Good by Carla Lalli Music. Copyright © 2021 by Carla Lalli Music.Photographs copyright © 2021 by Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
This recipe was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Carla Lalli Music makes her way through this recipe, offering insider tips, ingredient substitutions, and backstory along the way. —lallimusic
- Prep time 25 minutes
- Serves 4 to 6
anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
freshly ground pepper
fresh lemon juice
extra-virgin olive oil
parsley leaves and tender stems
- In a mortar and pestle or mini chopper, combine the anchovies and garlic with a big pinch of salt and many grinds of black pepper. Pulverize until a paste forms. (Alternatively, you can finely chop the anchovies and garlic together on a cutting board, then season with salt and black pepper and use the flat edge of the knife blade to smash the ingredients into a paste.)
- Scrape into a medium bowl and whisk in lemon juice, olive oil, and Aleppo pepper until combined. Taste and season with more salt and black pepper, if needed.
- Use the flat side of a chef’s knife to smash the olives and loosen the pits, then tear the flesh into 2 or 3 pieces (discard pits). Cut peppers in half lengthwise, then halve crosswise. Place the olives and peppers in a salad bowl.
- Trim the celery at both ends, then separate the bunch into individual stalks; wash and dry. Snap off the light green leaves from innermost stalks and set those aside. Cut the celery into very thin slices on a dramatic angle, then transfer to the bowl with the olives and peppers.
- Use a vegetable peeler to shave half the Parmigiano over. Add most of the dressing and toss with your hands to coat.
- Add the parsley and reserved celery leaves and toss gently to combine. Shave the other half of the Parm over, drizzle with dressing, and top with a few more grinds of black pepper.