Caesar salad brings the controversy of raw egg into the equation. This recipe takes it back out! With the option of using raw egg or Dijon mustard, the cook can make the choice based on the company being fed and the ingredients available. When I have eggs from a farm I know and trust, I love the creaminess and decadence of the nutrient-dense raw-egg version. And when I don't, Dijon mustard it is!

Serves 4


For the croutons:
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 cups 1-inch-wide cubed, rustic sourdough bread

    For the dressing:
  • 4 anchovies
  • 2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 raw-egg yolks, or 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

    For the salad:
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste


    Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small-size pot over medium heat, combine the butter, herbes de Provence, sea salt and pepper and heat until the butter is completely melted. Spread the sourdough cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the melted butter mixture over the cubes and toss to coat, using your fingers to gently ensure each cube is covered with butter.

    Bake for 10 minutes, without turning or flipping. Remove the croutons from the oven and allow to cool. When completely cooled, store in a glass container with a lid until ready to use. If the croutons are not fully cooled when stored, they become soft. If this happens, re-toast briefly.

    Make the dressing: In a blender or food processor, combine the anchovies, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks and garlic. Blend until the anchovies and garlic are incorporated. If necessary, scrape down the sides with a spatula. With the motor running, drizzle the olive oil through the opening. Turn off the blender and add the cheese, sea saltand pepper. Pulse several times until incorporated.

    Make the salad: In a large-size bowl, combine the romaine and croutons. Add 5 tablespoons (75 ml) of the dressing to the bowl. Toss and taste. Continue adding more dressing to suit your palate. The Dijon-based dressing will typically require more dressing than the egg-based version. Pour into a large-size serving bowl. Sprinkle the greens with the shaved cheese and freshly cracked pepper.

    From Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook (Fair Winds Press) by Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost.

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