In place of croutons, chefs and brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio serve this Caesar salad with crunchy hush puppy–like fritters. Each bite reveals pops of briny anchovy, a Caesar salad’s match made in heaven.
Slideshow:More Caesar Salad Recipes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons minced chives
10 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon oil from the jar
Canola oil, for frying
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 large egg yolk
1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon piment d’Espelette
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus shaved cheese for garnish
6 heads of Little Gem lettuce, trimmed and halved lengthwise
How to Make It
Make the fritters In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper. In another medium bowl, whisk the milk with the buttermilk, egg, chives, anchovies and anchovy oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and refrigerate the batter for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the salad In a blender, puree the anchovies with the egg yolk, shallot, garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, piment d’Espelette and 1 teaspoon of salt until smooth. With the machine on, drizzle in the 1 cup of olive oil until incorporated. Transfer the dressing to a small bowl and stir in the finely grated Parmesan.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 inches of canola oil to 360°. Drop 8 rounded tablespoonfuls of batter into the oil and fry, turning once, until the fritters are golden brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Arrange the lettuce and anchovy fritters on 6 plates or a large platter. Drizzle the salad with the dressing. Garnish with Parmesan shavings and a drizzle of olive oil; serve immediately.
The anchovy fritter batter and the dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight.
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Review Body: The croutons are actually salty hush puppies. I was prepared for this outcome but they were also too big, by more than 100%. Maybe cutting back on the corn meal. I may try that. For those of you who have done a class Ceasar dressing, I would do that. This dressing was thick, ike mayo, not like a home made dressing. More like a bottled one.
bottomline..I'm no renewing my Food and Wine subscription.