I am often criticized for not posting enough recipes. People love my food but the problem I face is the fact I never use recipes. I was taught to cook by… actually I was never taught to cook, a neighbour who cooked very well and befriended me when I was young simply said, “Peter, cook to taste.” It took me a while to figure out what he meant – basically he never had any recipes either.
Creating meals to me is not so much a process as it is an art and like art duplications are never as enjoyable as the original. So, to that end I am posting this Caesar salad “recipe”, without the annoying measurements.
My philosophy regarding meal preparation is if you start with fresh, high quality ingredients the rest is hard to screw up so start with a good quality extra virgin olive oil and line the wooden bowl with it – a couple of rings around the sides should do it. Then, add about 1 cloves of organic B.C. garlic – size matters and so does your urge to fend off vampires so if you’re not using B.C. garlic then you’ll need about 3 or 4 of the California stuff. Press the garlic and mix well into the oil. The idea here is to allow the garlic to fully saturate the oil – this is how the flavour is spread. Then add the juice of half a lemon – this may vary depending on the size of the fruit and how fresh and ripe it is… you may want to use a little more and you can always add it to your dressing later – cook to taste! Sprinkle some sea salt into the mixture (to taste, start off with a little – you can always add but you cannot take away!), add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a small amount of dijon mustard. Mix well then add some finely grated parmesan cheese, I like reggiano parmigiana – this is a rich and flavourful cheese that will make your salad! Add enough cheese to absorb all the oil. Finally, add either a couple egg yolks or, if you prefer, a little Hellman’s mayonnaise in place of the raw egg. The romaine lettuce should already be rinsed and dried so lay it on top of the dressing and allow it to chill. When ready toss the lettuce into the dressing, add large grated parm and some fresh ground black pepper. I am not a fan of croutons (when my bread dries out I give to the birds I do not put it in my salad) instead I prefer a toasted, garlic baguette.