How to make a real Caesar Salad

This recipe is written in narrative form. Why? Because that is the way you should understand it. If you attempt it with an encapsulated understanding of the process, your salad won't be very good. This is why you see no list of ingredients, etc. Programs are for spectators--you are the performer.

When making a Caesar salad, you should start with good, firm romaine lettuce. Wash it, tear it into pieces, and dry it (layering with dish towels with lettuce works well). The dressing won't stick to wet lettuce, and water also breaks the dressing itself. Accordingly, do not try this recipe with iceberg lettuce--its water content is so high that the mixture will fall apart before it hits the plate. Set the lettuce aside. You'll be adding it close to the end.

When you are ready to begin, put an egg in some really hot water nearby. This will separate the yolk from the white. You must have a huge, preferably wooden bowl and a huge, preferably metal spoon and fork. Take more chopped garlic than you thought you were going to use (about a heaping tablespoon per person, but always more than you planned) and mash into the bottom of the bowl. Mash it up around the sides. Go ahead and squish it over every square inch of the lower half of the bowl. Keep going until your wrist gets really tired.

Next come the anchovies, and remember that you cannot skip this step. Anchovy haters (even yourself, if you are one) must be tricked some way into believing that the anchovies will not attend, but they will. Use them sparingly--in a salad for two, use about one half of a filet, or half a teaspoon of anchovy paste. Mash it into the garlic. Use so much strength and earnestness that these two ingredients become one. Now look down and you will see mashed, mushy stuff. Don't let anyone else look at this point.

Next, take the egg out of the water, break it, and transfer the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell until all the white has fallen away from it into the water. Throw the yolk into the bowl and mix it in well. Egg yolk makes a good vehicle for garlic and anchovies. Use only one yolk unless you are making a really big salad, say for seven. Throw in about a tablespoon per person of dijon mustard. Add about eleven and one half squirts each of worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar per person. Take a half lemon per two persons and squeeze it really hard through a cotton napkin over the bowl, attempting to extract all the juice from it. Now mix all this together with fervor with the fork. Hopefully, a reddish brown, thick liquid will form. You can let other people look at this point, but only if you know them and you feel comfortable with them.

Now, put in the lettuce. Use enough lettuce to cover an average sized dinner plate for each person. Put in as many plain croutons and as much grated parmesan or romano cheese as seems appropriate. Toss the salad well. Add about two or three tablespoons (that's right, tablespoons) of olive oil per person and toss again. Serve the salad, offering pepper from a huge pepper grinder, and you've finished! Everyone can look now.