Never so beautifully has a Caesar salad been illustrated before than with Alain Passard's collage. Eggs, tomatoes, and anchovies clearly show what a delicious and natural Caesar salad recipe this is.
Recipe adapted from The Art of Cooking with Vegetables by Alain Passard, published by Frances Lincoln.
- 4 even-sized waxy potatoes
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as chervil, cilantro, and basil
- 1 large red onion, finely sliced
- 12 small freshly filleted anchovies, or 12 preserved anchovies rinsed free of salt
- 1 Teaspoon fine-grained mustard
- 8 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- A few shavings of fresh Parmesan
- Fleur de sel or salt of your choice and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a light simmer and set up an ice bath.
Add the potatoes and cook, partially covered, until they are tender — about 12-20 minutes depending on size. Remove them with a slotted spoon and when they are cool enough to handle, cut them into slices.
Put the eggs into the simmering water, then let the water return to a light boil and cook them until firmly set but not dry — about 6-7 minutes. Plunge the eggs into the ice bath briefly to arrest their cooking, then peel them, and cut them in half. Core the tomatoes, peel them if desired, then cut them in quarters and deseed them.
In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, herbs, onion, tomatoes, potatoes, and anchovies. In another bowl, whisk together the mustard and the olive oil until well blended and drizzle this dressing over the salad ingredients. Use salad servers to lift and coat the salad gently in the dressing.
Present the salad on individual plates, adding 1/2 a boiled egg and a few shavings of fresh Parmesan to each one. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste. Serve with farmhouse or olive bread, rubbed with a clove of crushed garlic, and toasted.