Here in beautiful northern New Jersey we are currently smack dab in the middle of a hazy, hot, humid, 90 degrees for days and days and days in a row heat wave. The kind of heat wave you remember fondly in February, the kind of heat wave that makes it impossible to to even THINK of turning on your oven or anything else that might possible raise the temperature in your kitchen even one measly degree. The kind of heat wave that means salad for dinner. Every night. And so if you are going to have salad for dinner, you might as well throw caution to the wind and have Salad For Dinner. I’m talking cool, extravagant, you-only-go-around-once Lobster Caesar Salad for dinner.
Yes, there are going to be anchovies. Yes, there are going to be raw eggs. Yes, there are going to be not one but two lobsters. Yes, you WANT this salad.
The dressing is completely key to the wonderfulness of this salad, and you can keep this one in your back pocket for regular Caesar salad days as well. It’s a glorious, sassy concoction of mashed anchovies, egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, lemon, Parmesan cheese and just enough fresh ground pepper to give it some bite.
The lettuce must be romaine, and you should tear (not cut) it into nice ragged bite sized pieces. The croutons should also be torn into pieces before you bake them up (yes, you are going to make your own croutons for this one…it’s super-easy and so very worth it!), and the same goes for the lobster. All these torn up ingredients mean you will have lots of edges and nooks that will hold your fabulous dressing.
Now the final piece of advice I have on this one (and please trust me on this…we’ve come this far together!) is that you need to toss this salad by hand. That’s right, wash up good and then get your hands in there – they will do a much better job than any tongs in your drawer. I toss all my salads by hand…it just works so much better that way. Gently scoop up from the bottom and mix things up until all your perfect ingredients have a nice amount of that aromatic dressing.
This is of course an amazing special occasion treat, but I tossed it together for the Southern husband on an ordinary Thursday a little while ago, just because he is so dang good to me every single day. That and a string of 90 degree sultry summer days are reason enough for me!
- 4 anchovies, mashed into a paste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 egg yolk
- Juice from ½ fresh lemon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup country-style bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- One small head romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 lobsters, steamed, shelled, cooled and torn into bite-sized pieces (your supermarket or fish market will steam them for you)
- Parmesan cheese shavings for garnish
- Make dressing by combining dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shaking until well mixed.
- Make croutons by brushing bread pieces with olive oil, sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper and baking at 350 until golden, about 15 minutes.
- Assemble salad by placing lettuce, lobster and croutons in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss gently with washed hands.
- Divide salad among plates, garnish with shaved Parmesan and more ground pepper and serve.