Vietnamese Caesar Salad with Anchovy Croutons
A classic Caesar salad is all about the dressing: creamy enough to cling to each leaf of lettuce and crunchy crouton, with bursts of flavor from salty anchovies, funky Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Chef Bryant Ng, of Cassia in Los Angeles, brings his own dressing together with some inspired additions: fish sauce, two kinds of anchovies (salt-packed and marinated), and plenty of fresh herbs like cilantro and red shiso. The result: a Caesar with even more umami and texture. Piled high on the plate, with craggy croutons seasoned with anchovy paste; plenty of extra-virgin olive oil; chewy, sweet dried figs; and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, each salad is a summer centerpiece.
Caesar dressing may be prepared up to 3 days ahead; cover and chill until ready to serve. Croutons may be prepared up to 1 day ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Smoky, vivid Pouilly-Fumé.