Ubiquity (and chicken) in the '80s and '90s gave Caesar salad a bad name, but here we bring it bang up to date by treating the lettuce to a quick flash on a very hot grill. While you're at it, you can do the same with the bacon and croûtons. Be sure to serve the salad straight from the grill for maximum smokiness.
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 4 baby cos lettuce, outer leaves reserved for another use, hearts halved lengthways
- 12 thin baguette slices
- 6 bacon rashers, rind trimmed
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 8 anchovy fillets, halved lengthways
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 60 gm (¾ cup) finely grated parmesan
- 1½ tbsp each lemon juice and red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1Soft-boil eggs (7 minutes), then refresh, peel and set aside.
- 2For anchovy-garlic dressing, boil egg until just coddled (2 minutes), crack into a bowl and break up with a whisk. Pound anchovies and garlic with a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste, add to egg along with parmesan, lemon juice and vinegar, and season to taste. Whisking continuously, gradually add oil in a thin steady stream and whisk until emulsified. Refrigerate until required.
- 3Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue to high heat. Drizzle cos hearts, baguette slices and bacon with oil and grill in batches (1-2 minutes for cos hearts, 2-3 minutes for baguette and bacon). Rub croûtons while still warm with the cut-side of garlic clove.
- 4To serve, arrange cos on a platter, crumble croûtons and bacon over, then top with torn egg and scatter with anchovies. Drizzle generously with anchovy-garlic dressing and finish with flat-leaf parsley and grated parmesan.
Drink Suggestion: Yeasty, complex late-disgorged sparkling wine. Drink suggestion by Max Allen