One of my favorite Caesar salad dressings is from Julia Turshen’s cookbook “Small Victories” (Chronicle, $35). Turshen used to work for several families as a private chef before becoming a recipe developer and writer for several magazines. This dressing was cherished by her clientele.
“I was often asked to leave containers in refrigerators all over New York City,” she wrote in the book, revealing that her master plan was to one day put it in a bottle and sell it in the marketplace.
In her recipe she swaps the customary raw egg with a small portion of mayonnaise. For a vegetarian version, exchange 1 tablespoon drained capers for the anchovies. For a vegan version, use 1 tablespoon capers in place of the anchovies and Vegenaise instead of regular mayonnaise, and leave out the Parmesan.
4 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 hearts of romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed, dried and cut into bite-sized pieces
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1. In a blender or food processor, puree garlic, anchovies, juice, vinegar, oil and mayonnaise until smooth. Add Parmesan and give the dressing a few pulses just to incorporate the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper (use caution not to use too much salt — the cheese and anchovies are salty).
2. Put lettuce in large bowl and drizzle nearly all dressing over it. Toss to coat leaves. Divide lettuce among 4 plates. Divide tomatoes among salads and drizzle the last bits of dressing over salads. Serve.
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