All Hail Caesar

My BFFs know that my favorite restaurant in Seattle is Pomodoro on Eastlake. We've eaten at this cozy neighborhood Southern Italian corner bistro to celebrate my birthday for the past three years.

One of the great things is that you can always get a table. You think this means the restaurant is not good? Nuh-uh. It only means that this place hasn't been found yet. I'd like to keep it that way ... and yet ... I've always been the girl who shared at playtime and let other girls play with my dolls. On that note, you got it here first - GO to this restaurant before the word gets out any further.

Order the Insalata di Caesar as a starter along with any of the other fine appetizers (can't go wrong with the Pomodoro Speciale). Like clockwork, I always order the Linguine con Gambero e Anice: wild prawns, garlic, white wine and light cream anise sauce, tossed with linguine. I don't know how they cook this but it is the best pasta dish around. I've ordered seafood fettuccine at many, many restaurants here in the NW and after eating the typically white based cheesy sauce, felt slightly bloated by the time I got home.

The Pomodoro's pasta dish features plump, perfectly poached prawns ... but it is the light cream sauce the linguine is tossed in that is perfection. The sauce is almost clear and glosses the noodles beautifully. It is like eating a bite from the fresh sea tossed in with a hint of sweet cream. That sauce. Oooh boy.You know, I could go on and on  about that dish ...

But what I'm here to really talk about today is salad. There have been many times in my life that I've been on a semi-liquid diet, carb-free diet, no- white-after-dark diet, and salads diets. Such is the trials and tribulations of trying to be skinny in this super-size everything culture.

There is one salad, however, that I always eat with pleasure .... and place it even in the decadent category. All hail the Caesar. Dieting never crosses my mind when I order a caesar salad. For real. This classic salad doesn't have to play second fiddle to any main entree when done right and accompanied by major other players. I mentioned Pomodoro's Insalata di Caesar above and they do one of the most savoriest that has crossed my palate. I like the kick of spiciness and the crunch of  ice cold romaine in their version.

BUT at home I came across an excellent, delicious recipe recently that must be shared. I made it for the kids last week and my 14 year old had seconds of the salad ... and then thirds. If that is not the best review and from a tough crowd, I don't know what is! The dressing is AMAZING.

Caesar Salad
Adapted from Michael Chiarello's recipe

The only thing I do differently in this recipe is cook the eggs in boiling water for one minute and then put them in cold water to cool before adding the yolks to the dressing. Maybe it's psychological, as the egg yolks are still technically raw, but I like to "cook" them still in advance.
  • 4 heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, or 1.5 pounds romaine lettuce hearts
  • 3/4 cup Caesar dressing, recipe follows
  • Croutons
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan


Put the whole romaine leaves in a work bowl. Add enough of the dressing to coat the leaves and toss well. Arrange the leaves in a serving bowl with their tips up, and intersperse the croutons, if desired. Sprinkle the Parmesan over all.

Caesar Dressing:

2 eggs
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 to 8 anchovy fillets, minced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce
2 cups olive oil
2 tablespoon warm water, if needed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the egg yolk, mustard, anchovies, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce into a salad bowl. Blend with whisk and then add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until it is fully incorporated. If the dressing stops gets too thick, add the warm water and then continue until all the oil is added. Add the cheese and continue to blend.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

No comments:

Post a Comment