If you’ve ever been to a great Italian restaurant that made Caesar salad in a wooden bowl on a cart rolled right up to your table, you know how much better that can be compared to most versions. My friend Bob Smith makes the real thing. It’s a treat to watch him in action‑and then to enjoy every bite.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 anchovies, minced, plus extra whole ones for garnish if desired
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, preferably Grey Poupon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 fresh large egg, preferably pasteurized (available in well-stocked supermarkets)
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 head chilled Romaine lettuce, leaves separated, torn into bite-sized pieces
¾ cup croutons
Freshly ground black pepper
In a seasoned wooden salad bowl, combine the olive oil and minced garlic, stirring them together with the tines of a table fork held flat against the bowl’s surface. While continuing to stir briskly with the fork in this way, gradually add the minced anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Then, still stirring with the fork, gradually add the egg, grated cheese, and lemon juice, forming a thick, creamy dressing.
Add the Romaine lettuce and croutons and toss thoroughly with salad tongs to coat them with the dressing. Transfer the salad to individual chilled serving plates. For anyone who wishes, place a few whole anchovies on top of their salads. Freshly grind black pepper over the salads before serving.