Caesar Salad, a classic by Ilse van der Merwe

Ilse van der Merwe's Classic Caesar Salad

Ilse van der Merwe’s
Classic Caesar Salad

Ilse van der Merwe is a well known food writer, food stylist, photographer, teacher, her talents have no ending to them.

Ilse van der Merwe Food writer, blogger, teacher

Ilse van der Merwe
Food writer, blogger, teacher

This is Ilse van der Merwe’s version of the iconic, classic Caesar salad. It’s all in the dressing, so be generous. Use only very fresh small cos lettuce leaves, real Parmigiano Reggiano, and don’t be afraid to eat the salad with your hands!

Ingredients for dressing:

2 egg yolks at room temperature

30 ml lemon juice

2 anchovy fillets

1 clove garlic, sliced

5 ml Dijon mustard

5 ml Worcester sauce

30 ml finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese)

a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper

50 ml canola oil

For the croutons:

1/2 slices of white bread or sour dough bread or ciabatta, cubed

vegetable oil for frying

For the salad:

one small head of cos lettuce, broken into separate leaves and rinsed well under cold water

shaved Parmigiano Reggiano


In a tall cup (I use a 750 ml plastic measuring jug), add egg yolks, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, mustard and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, then give it a proper whizz with a stick blender.

With the stick blender’s motor running, add the oil in a thin stream to create a thick sauce, very much like mayonnaise. Set aside.

In a small saucepan on the stove top, heat oil (if you have a thermometer, it should be around 160 C). Add bread cubes and fry until golden brown – it only takes about 30 seconds, so watch them carefully. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside to cool.

On a large flat platter, arrange washed cos lettuce leaves (I always give them a spin in my salad spinner to get rid of excess water, but you can also just drain the water with a clean tea towel). Top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and croutons, then drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately with extra dressing on the side.

Visit Ilse’s website at The Food

Wine recommendation – read about it here

Vergelegen Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Vergelegen Reserve Chardonnay 2012

May 23rd, 2014|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , |

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