Today’s post for Updating a Classic! Bacon and Egg Caesar Salad, is all about speed and a plethora of eggs! It was a hot late spring day, just a few weeks ago – I’d been writing some commissioned work since about 6am in the morning, and I could sense that it was time for lunch, mainly due the sound of my husband pacing around the kitchen, opening the bread bin, noisily, and rustling loudly in the fridge! I always turn to eggs on these occasions, along with fresh fish, they are the original fast food, and as we keep chickens at the bottom of our garden, we always have a supply of beautiful, golden yolked free-range eggs, courtesy of Hattie, Betty, Peggy and Maisie. In fact, the day that I assembled this salad, I counted nearly three dozen eggs in the pantry – time to get my baking head on too!
I had eggs, I had a lovely Cos (Romaine) lettuce and on searching the fridge, I discovered some dry-cured streaky bacon, and a big chunk of Grana Padano cheese too. All of the ingredients seemed to scream salad, but what kind of salad? I think it was the lettuce that “did it” – a crisp and slightly bitter Cos lettuce is the classic leaf in a Caesar salad, and on further rummaging around at the back of the fridge, I discovered some tinned anchovies, which are essential in a Caesar salad dressing. Today’s recipe for Bacon and Egg Caesar Salad is really just an idea, a suggestion or a culinary note, it’s an assembly job using beautiful locally produced ingredients, and with a rather clever cheat’s dressing idea! The dressing has all the classic ingredients, but is made in a trice using mayonnaise…..which, works very well.
I’m a big fan of mayo, and especially Dijon mustard mayonnaise, which worked well in the Caesar dressing. And, being a keeper of hens, or a chicken mother as I often call myself, it’s essential to have a big pot of mayo to hand, if only for dressing freshly boiled eggs, or for an egg salad! The Bacon and Egg Caesar Salad was duly made and we both enjoyed it so much, that it made an appearance on the luncheon table a few days later, in an attempt to crack on using all the eggs! (Pardon the awful puns!) You can use a reputable commercial mayo, of course, one that uses free range eggs, but I do have a FAB recipe on the site for a fool-proof mayonnaise that was given to me by my French neighbour many years ago, here: A Secret Recipe Revealed! Michelle’s French Mayonnaise in a Flash.
So, today’s recipe suggestion for a summer supper special, is easy to make and would also be perfect for any dinner party entrée too. Make the dressing just before you serve the salad, but the eggs and bacon, and the croutons if you are making them, can be done a few hours beforehand. Make sure you shave the cheese, and DON’T grate it for the final flourish, and I prefer, but I realise that this is personal, Grano Padano cheese over Parmesan cheese. DO try to use free range eggs – just look at how lovely and golden the yolks are in my hen’s eggs in the photos, and, I do advise using dry-cure bacon too, it doesn’t shrivel up into nothing as wet cure bacon often does. Smoked bacon is always my preferred choice, but again, go with what you and your family prefer. Enjoy this salad if you make it, and I’ll be back soon with some traveller’s tales! Karen
Bacon and Egg Caesar Salad
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Allergy||Egg, Fish, Wheat|
|Meal type||Appetizer, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Starter|
|Misc||Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
|Occasion||Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Thanksgiving, Valentines day|
This is my take on the classic Caesar Salad, with a quick “cheats” dressing, crispy bacon and boiled eggs; this salad is easy to assemble and makes a wonderfully tasty and filling meal for lunch or a light summer supper dish.
- 1 Cos or Romaine lettuce (leaves separated)
- 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon (grilled until crispy)
- 4 hard boiled free range eggs (shelled and quartered)
- 4 tablespoons ready-made croutons
- a few fresh chives, snipped
- 50g Grana Padano or Parmesan Cheese (shaved with a vegetable or potato peeler, NOT grated)
- 1 clove garlic (minced finely)
- 2 tinned anchovies
- 25g finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
- 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
This is my take on the classic Caesar Salad, with a quick “cheats” dressing, crispy bacon and free-range boiled eggs; this salad is easy to assemble and makes a wonderfully tasty and filling meal for lunch or a light summer supper dish. NB: I used ready-made croutons, but I have added the method to make your own croutons if you wish.
|Step 1||Tear the lettuce into pieces, and arrange in one large serving bowl or four individual bowls.|
|Step 2||Make the dressing by mashing the garlic and the anchovies together in a jug or bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and whisk together to make a thick dressing that pours.|
|Step 3||Assemble the salad, break up the bacon and place over the top of the lettuce leaves with the quartered eggs and croutons.|
|Step 4||Dress the salad with the Caesar dressing and then scatter the cheese shavings over the top with the chopped fresh chives. Serve immediately.|
|Step 5||To make your own croutons, take 4 thick slices of bread, and tear them into pieces; place them on a baking tray, drizzle over some olive oil (about 2 to 3 tablespoons), turn the croutons around in the oil so they are all coated and season to taste with sea salt, Bake in pre-heated oven 200C/400F/Gas mark 6 for about 8 to 10 minutes. Once cool, these can be stored in an airtight tin for a week.|
Caesar Salad – History and Recipe:
A Caesar salad is a salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper. It is traditionally prepared table-side.
The salad’s creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States. Cardini was living in San Diego but also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition. His daughter Rosa (1928–2003) recounted that her father invented the dish when a Fourth of July 1924 rush depleted the kitchen’s supplies. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing “by the chef.” A number of Cardini’s staff have said that they invented the dish.
According to Rosa Cardini, the original Caesar salad (unlike his brother Alex’s Aviator’s salad) did not contain pieces of anchovy; the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad.
In the 1970s, Cardini’s daughter said that the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves, which were meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers; coddled eggs; and Italian olive oil.