This is a recipe inspired by an amazing caesar salad I enjoyed at a New York hotel in May 2012. It was really piquant and I adored it as I am a huge fan of vinegar and all things sour. This version forgoes the usual bread croutons and poached egg, but you could include them if you like.
For the dressing
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- 1 cup (250ml) extra light olive oil* (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 heaped teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 5 anchovy fillets
- 3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large (200-250g), free-range, (organic if possible), chicken skinless breasts
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 baby romaine lettuce, washed and dried
- Olive oil for cooking
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Extra grated parmesan for serving
- 4 x lemon wedges
*Note: only use extra light olive oil for making mayo, don’t be tempted to use olive or ~ even more-so a no-no; EVOO. It won’t taste good!
To make the dressing:
- Add the egg yolk, dijon and salt into the bowl of a food processor, whizz on high speed for about 2 minutes. Place extra light olive oil into a squeezy bottle fitted with a very small nozzle then drizzle very slowly into the egg mixture, via the food processor’s pouring spout, while the machine is running until all oil is used up and you have a thick, creamy and glossy mayo. Add the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, anchovy fillets, parmesan and season to taste with a little salt (remember the anchovies will be a bit salty to start with) and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- To prepare the chicken Trim away any excess visible white fat from the meat then cut each breast into long thin strips, place in a mixing bowl along with 1-2 tablespoon/s olive oil, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and a good seasoning of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat chicken thoroughly. Warm a large non-stick chargrill/griddle frying pan over medium heat, add the chicken strips in one or two batches and fry until golden brown, chargrilled and thoroughly cooked through. To serve, shred lettuce into thin strips and divide between serving bowls, drizzle with dressing then pile cooked chicken strips on top. Drizzle with more dressing then scatter with a few of the remaining sesame seeds and serve with lots of extra grated parmesan and a wedge of lemon.