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Three Classic Salads: Caesar, Louis & Cobb
In the SCS 15| Classic Salads & Creamy Dressings, we discussed three classical salads that are commonly found in U.S. restaurants. These salads are the Caesar, Louis and Cobb. Here is a quick break down on each salad’s components and their corresponding salad dressings.
Caesar Salad Components
- Romaine Lettuce, usually just the hearts. The romaine can be chopped, but was traditionally left whole and eaten with the fingers instead of utensils.
- Garlic Croutons: Don’t over think this one. Croutons are nothing more than toasted bread, in this case tossed with crushed garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper after being toasted. My favorite way to toast croutons is to fry them in oil, but you can also bake, pan fry or toast in a toaster oven.
- Anchovy Fillets (Optional): Not a part of the traditional Caesar salad but is now a common component in modern versions. I like to personally use whole, white anchovy fillets called Boquerones.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese: This can really be any hard, aged cheese that you desire. Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged Asiago, and Pecorino Romano are all good choices.
Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe and Technique
To better understand the process of making Caesar Dressing, first review this post on Understanding Emulsions. To make Caesar Dressing you will need:
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 6 Anchovy Fillets (Optional)
- 2 Cloves Raw Garlic
- 2 Lemons Juiced
- 2 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 1/2 Good Olive Oil
- 2-3 Ozs Grated Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
- Water to Thin
- Combine egg yolks, anchovy fillets, garlic, lemon juice, and Worcestershire Sauce in a blender and blend until smooth (about 10-15 seconds).
- Add in grated Parmesan Cheese and blend until incorporated.
- Slowly start stream in olive oil to for an emulsion. If the dressing becomes too thick before all oil is emulsified, thin out with a little splash of cold water.
- Continue to emulsify olive oil until it is all incorporated. The final consistency should be that of a thin mayonnaise.
Louis Salad Components
The components of a Louis Salad will change from chef to chef. Really what makes it a Louis Salad is the dressing and the addition of either cooked crab or shrimp. Here’s I like to use in my Louis Salads.
- Cooked Crab Meat (dungeness is the best)
- Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- Sliced Avacado
- Thinly Sliced Red Onion
- Iceberg or Romain Lettuce: It’s important to use a sturdy, crisp salad green that will stand up to the weight of the Louis dressing.
Louis Salad Dressing
- Two Cups of Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Cup Chilli Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 oz Minced Onion
- 1 oz Finely Minced Green Onion
- 1 oz Drained Pimento, Minced
- 1 oz Celery, Finely Minced
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix together until are ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Tip: To make sure the salad isn’t overpowered by the dressing, place all salad ingredients in an appropriate sized bowl, add a little bit of the Louis dressing, and gently toss with your hands. Add more dressing until desired flavor is reached, and then season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
Cobb Salad Components
- Chopped Chicken or Slices of Turkey
- Bacon, Cooked to Desired Doneness
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Cheddar Cheese
- Crumbled Bleu Cheese (Traditionally Roquefort)
- Lettuce (Iceberg, Red Leaf or Butter Lettuce all work well)
Cobb Salad Dressing
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
- Combine all ingredients 1-4 in an appropriate sized mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Continue to whisk while streaming in olive oil.
- Once olive oil is combined, season with salt and pepper to taste
Assembling Your Cobb Salad
Toss your salad greens of choice with the vinaigrette above. Place dressed greens in a salad bowl, and arrange ingredients from the component section in straight lines, side by side, across the top of the salad greens.