Hail Caesar!

Salads have always been the primary bastion of the dieter. Though if you’ve never had to diet (you lucky so and so!) chances are your idea of a salad is limited to a bunch of leaves scattered around vegetables amid a sea of bland taste. Well, you would be wrong. Salads can be exciting, tasty and nutritious, and all at once too.

One such case is the Caesar salad. Contrary to what you might think the salad wasn’t named after the Roman emperor. In fact, it was named after Caesar Cardini, an Italian-born chef living in California. According to legend, Cardini devised the recipe for the salad on a busy July the Fourth in the 1920s when he threw together some leftover ingredients from his depleted stocks to serve his hungry customers. The light but delicious salad caught the fancy of some film stars and soon became a celebrity in its own right. Since then the recipe for the salad has travelled around the world and has seen countless incarnations — but the salad remains as regal as ever in its taste and presentation.

A freshly served Caesar salad is a refreshing meal; light yet filling at the same time. The main ingredients include romaine lettuce, crushed garlic, raw or coddled, i.e. very lightly cooked egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and freshly prepared croutons.

This is then seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and often Worcestershire sauce. If one wishes to avoid the salt, they can sprinkle extra lemon juice — blood pressure patients should particularly take note here. The lime brings out the taste of the romaine lettuce; combine that with garlic and Parmesan cheese and you’ve got an exciting blend going. If you dislike lime and can’t use salt, then vinegar is the next best thing for you. The mix between the cheese and vinegar makes for a particularly interesting flavour, though some might call it an acquired taste.

One of the best things about Caesar salad is that it allows great flexibility — in fact you can do just about anything with it. If there is no romaine lettuce, substitute with any lettce you have on hand. Similarly, if you’re avoiding the salt and adding more lime, then you’re better off using Romano cheese rather than Parmesan. It’ll give you a slightly saltish tinge without having to use salt.

If your palate craves spice you can drizzle some hot sauce over the salad or add some sliced green chillies to the mix. For seasoning you can use ground pepper. If you’re not too concerned about your weight you can add mayonnaise as a dressing to give it a rich, creamy flavour.

For vegetarians this is definitely one of the best meals out there, but you meat lovers shouldn’t worry, because Caesar salad is also served with strips of chicken, beef, mutton and even fish such as ground up anchovies or even boiled shrimp. For those of you who think of salad as limp and soggy, the croutons provide a crunchy texture and will have you munching for more.

Caesar salad for lunch keeps you feeling alert and active through your workday; for dinner it’s the ideal meal for weight watchers. So, though it isn’t named for the famed Roman emperor, Caesar Salad will make even a commoner feel like royalty because it can be anything you want it to be.


mittsophy said...

You *really* hit the nail on the head with this one! :)
Thought I was the only one with salads and dressings cravings till this piece

Khaver Siddiqi said...

Y'know, I don't like salads that much - but this one is quite the bomb. And thanks for reading! :D