Food Stuff

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

The Caesar salad, once the pride of fancy Continental restaurants, now is as common as hamburger on restaurant menus. The dish has suffered for this popularity, with bottled Caesar dressing being the most egregious affront to a proud tradition dating to 1924. In the old days, the dressing and salad were prepared tableside and tossed with a flourish. Possibly the last place in town that made a Caesar in that manner was Café La Salle, and it’s been closed for 10 years. Nope, if you want to experience a real Caesar, you likely are going to have to make it yourself. Find a recipe from a reputable cookbook or Web site. The key is freshness: whole cloves of garlic, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, shaved Parmesan, coddled egg, romaine lettuce and garlicky croutons (it is easy to make croutons, and there is no comparison to the store-bought variety). Adjust the ingredients to taste and then hail Caesar.