Chef Caesar Cardini, with restaurants in San Diego and Tijuana,
is credited with inventing this salad on the 4th of July in 1924.
All along, many others have laid claim to it. And for good reason:
it’s a great salad. Years ago, a foodie extolled that it was possibly
the greatest advance in salad fabrication in several centuries.
Fabrication is, indeed, the key. The Little Woman made this salad
all the years of our marriage and maybe before that, as from holy
Thus, according to TLW’s scripture:
1. The Romaine lettuce must be spun dried, laid out on a clean
cotton dish towel, rolled up to rest and to dry the leaves even
more and only then are the greens carefully torn (not cut) from
the white center stem of each leaf. All green to light green leaves
in her salad. No white.
2. Two cheeses: freshly shaved Parmigiano Riggiano and freshly
crumbled blue cheese–the real stuff. No Kraft slices.
3. Anchovies add depth and sharpness to the salad. “Gotta
be in there, said she.” But since many people don’t care
for anchovy fillets, TLW used anchovey paste. A one inch squirt
was about right.
4. And one egg at room temperature, please.
So here we have: (Serves 6-8. See abbreviations,
1/3 C ….. EVOO, your best (light and flavorable)
2 ………… garlic cloves, pureed
2.5 T …… fresh lemon juice
1 T ……… Worcestershire sauce
½ t ……… salt
1 ………… inch squirt of anchovy paste
1 ………… large head of Romaine lettuce
1 ………… raw egg, ambient, lightly beaten
½ C …….. shaved and diced Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ C ………crumbled blue cheese
6 grinds .. freshly ground pepper
1 C ……… croutons, store bought OK
1. In a large salad bowl, combine EVOO, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire
anchovy paste and salt. Whisk to mix well and set aside for awhile
2. Wash and spin-dry lettuce leaves. Lay them out on a cotton
dish towel, roll up
and set aside
3. When ready, unwrap the leaves and tear them from their stem
into bite sized pieces,
discard the heavy white stem portion of each leaf
4. Re whisk the dressing and then drizzle it over the leaves.
Add the beaten egg and toss
with salad tongs
5. Add the cheeses and toss again
6. Grind on the pepper, then add the croutons and toss once more.
7. Serve immediately
Note: Steps 1 and 2 can be done well before the event