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Grilled Caesar salad

We've updated the Caesar salad by treating the lettuce to a quick flash on a very hot grill. Serve straight from the grill for maximum smokiness.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus cooling
Grilled Caesar salad
Grilled Caesar salad

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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • For drizzling: olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 8 anchovy fillets, halved lengthways
  • To serve: coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and finely grated parmesan
Anchovy-garlic dressing
  • 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

Method

Main
  • 1
    Soft-boil eggs (7 minutes), then refresh, peel and set aside.
  • 2
    For 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.
  • 3
    Heat 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.
  • 4
    To 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.

Notes

Drink Suggestion: Yeasty, complex late-disgorged sparkling wine. Drink suggestion by Max Allen