Caesar Salad with Meatballs
© Tina Rupp

Caesar Salad with Meatballs


Chef Way At David Burke's Primehouse, waiters make Caesar salads tableside, whisking the Parmesan-rich dressing by hand with egg yolks.

Easy Way Burke mixes the silky dressing in a blender, leaving out the egg yolks. It's incredibly good with the juicy meatballs he serves in place of the usual croutons.

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  1. 3 garlic cloves
  2. 2 anchovy fillets
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  4. 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  5. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  6. 1 cup mild olive oil
  7. 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. 3 romaine hearts, coarsely chopped
  10. 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  11. 2 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
  12. 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  13. 3 tablespoons milk
  14. 1 large egg
  15. 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  16. 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  17. 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  18. 3/4 pound lean ground sirloin
  19. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  1. In a blender, puree 2 of the garlic cloves with the anchovy fillets, lemon juice, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. With the blender on, add 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a thin stream and process until incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper and blend. Pour 2 tablespoons of the Caesar dressing into a medium bowl. Transfer the remaining dressing to a large bowl and add the lettuce, tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan; don't toss.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the remaining garlic clove with the bacon until chopped. Add the bread crumbs, milk, egg, basil, thyme, hot sauce and the remaining 3 tablespoons of Parmesan; season generously with salt and pepper and process to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and knead in the sirloin. Working with 2 tablespoons of the meat at a time, roll it into 18 balls. Dust the meatballs with the flour.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat until golden and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain well on paper towels. Add the meatballs to the dressing in the medium bowl and toss gently. Toss the salad and transfer to plates. Top with the meatballs and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy, plummy Merlot.