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Course: Sides & Salads
Keyword: Appetizers, Hail Caesar Salad, Salads, Vegetarian, Weeknight Dinner

Hail Caesar Salad

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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  • 8 ounces (half a loaf) day-old Italian bread
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 (8-ounce) heads romaine lettuce hearts, inner leaves only
  • 7 grinds freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Specialized Hardware

  • Mortar and pestle
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Procedure

  • Crank oven to 350ºF. Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes and spread on a half-sheet pan. Bake until thoroughly dry but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside. (Congratulations, you just made croutons.)
  • Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Meanwhile, place the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a mortar and mash with the pestle to make a paste. Add 4 tablespoons of the oil to the paste and mash to combine.
  • Pour the oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a 12-inch sauté pan and place over medium heat. Add the croutons and sauté, tossing constantly until all of the oil is absorbed by the bread and the croutons turn gold, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add the eggs to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Immediately transfer to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  • Everything from here on should be done at the table, with great flair and flourish: In a very large bowl, tear the lettuce and toss, using tongs, with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle with the remaining pinch of salt and the pepper. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss well. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, and break in the eggs. Toss until a creamy dressing forms. Toss in the Parmesan cheese and serve topped with croutons.
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