Spicy Caesar Salad
- TOTAL TIME: 20 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
"Sometimes when I make Caesar salad, I put too much garlic in, even for me," says photographer Rob Howard, who loves powerful versions of this classic recipe. F&W's Marcia Kiesel created an exemplary Caesar salad for him with a simple but potent mayonnaise-based dressing, extra-large croutons and thin strips of red chile for a spicy kick. Because Rob also likes crispy bacon in his Caesar salads (he gets slabs delivered from a local butcher, whose smokehouse is a few miles away from Rob's home), it gets tossed in, too.
- 1/2 baguette, sliced 1/3 inch thick
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, preferably spicy—drained and chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground pepper
- 6 slices lean bacon (3 ounces)
- 1 1/2 pounds romaine lettuce, torn into large bite-size pieces
- 1 long red chile, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the baguette slices on a baking sheet and lightly brush both sides with olive oil. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the toasts cool, then break them into large pieces.
- Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, combine the mayonnaise, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic and mustard and blend until smooth. With the processor on, slowly pour in the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season the dressing with pepper.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Drain and slice crosswise 1 inch thick.
- In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the sliced chile, croutons and the bacon. Add the dressing and toss. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the salad, toss again and serve right away.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.