Fabio's Ultimate Caesar Salad

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Kick off summer salad season right! Hail Caesar! Looking at the king of Italian dressings, Fabio takes on the Caesar with spectacular results. Grilled lettuce, perfect croutons, a to-die for dressing... yes, this is the ultimate!

Culinary tips:
-It sounds crazy, but if you grill your Romaine lettuce, it will take your salad to the next level in seconds.
-Coddling eggs is a simple procedure to help make the raw eggs safer for consumption.
-Making your own croutons is an easy, cheap, and preservative-free way to add a homemade touch to even the most simple of salads.
-An Italian chef living in Mexico invented the Caesar Salad.

Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 4 servings and 1 quart of dressing

For the Dressing:
2 eggs
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. white pepper
2 tbsp. minced garlic cloves
5 tbsp. chopped anchovies
4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
pinch of kosher salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup light olive oil

For the Croutons:
½ loaf of rustic bread, like Ciabatta
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the Salad:
2 heads of Romaine lettuce, cores attached
2 fresh Roma tomatoes
¼ lb. chunk Parmesan cheese

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
Rinse the eggs in warm tap water to temper them.
Submerge in a pot of just-boiling water for one minute. Remove, and cool.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F, and preheat a stovetop grill pan over medium heat.

To make the croutons, tear the Ciabatta into one-inch pieces, and place into a medium mixing bowl.
Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss well to coat each piece.
Place the croutons onto a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown and crunchy, about ten minutes.

While the croutons cook, prepare the salad:
Cut each head of Romaine in half from end to end, creating two long pieces that are held together by the core.
Drizzle the cut-side of each half with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Place the Romaine halves, cut-side down, on the grill pan.
Cook until nicely charred.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing:
Crack the coddled eggs into the jar of a blender.
Add both vinegars and both mustards.
Add lemon juice, white pepper, minced garlic, anchovies, and grated Parmesan.
Add a small pinch of salt, and pulse on LOW.
Raise the blender to HIGH, and slowly drizzle in the light olive oil until emulsified and creamy.
If the dressing gets too thick, add water in very small amounts, until the right consistency is reached.

To build the salad, remove the Romaine cores, and cut each piece in half.
Arrange two lettuce pieces on each plate.
Drizzle with dressing, and top with croutons and tomato slices.

Garnish with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and serve.


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Caprese Salad
Pasta Salad