There’s nothing we love more than discovering the surprising origin of a food we cherish and think we know well. Food blogging has opened up a new whole world for me. This is a vast area which is intertwined with loads of history, facts and stories. Its an exciting adventure for me to go searching the roots of each dishes and recipes. The other interesting fact which I have noticed is that culinary area is where we can connect mankind for the betterment.
My dish of the day, a salad, which is admired by millions all over the globe and which can be made vegetarian and non vegetarian, is Caesar Salad. It seems obvious, right? Caesar salad must have been named for Julius Caesar, or maybe he even invented it. After all, those ancient Romans knew how to eat, and this guy was the most famous of them all! It’s hard to argue with logic such as that. Nevertheless, we shall. Caesar salad have no connection whatsoever to Julius Caesar, or indeed to any of the Caesars who ruled Rome and her far-flung empire.
Caesar Salad is a salad which also has its share of story and descent. Recently we learned something about the Caesar salad, which is a well received salad world over. To the untrained eye, Caesar Salad looks simple—little more than lettuce, cheese and croutons. But the delightful tossing of romaine, fresh Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, egg, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and, often, anchovies is much more complicated than that. And the story behind the salad’s creation is a perfect example of how the intermingling of regional cooking can produce culinary magic.
There are several legends about how the Caesar Salad was invented, but nearly all of them revolve around Caesar Cardini – a French-inspired Italian chef who immigrated to America before moving to Mexico to escape prohibition. Caesar Cardini, a famed restaurateur who, according to lore, invented the dish in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924 when a rush of diners on the Fourth of July strained his kitchen’s resources and he had to make do with whatever ingredients were left on hand.
The exact story is disputed, but the general consensus is that over Fourth of July weekend, Cardini threw together a bunch of ingredients he had on hand and served his concoction to his friends. Needless to say, the improvised dish caught on.
What’s Cooking America says the original recipe included “romaine, garlic, croutons, and Parmesan cheese, boiled eggs, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.” Supposedly Cardini’s brother, Alex, came to Tijuana in 1926 and added anchovies to the salad. He called his version the “Aviator’s salad.” What’s Cooking America says that this version was so well-received that it became the standard and was renamed the “Caesar salad.”
Like most origin stories, this one is difficult to prove. The incredible combination of ingredients that goes into a Caesar salad may have come together in different variations, in Tijuana or elsewhere. Regardless, the dish grew famous in Tijuana.
Romain Lettuce is the star of the dish. Sturdy, crunchy, and packed with nutrition, romaine lettuce is a hearty salad green. Also known as cos lettuce, romaine lettuce is high in fiber and low in calories. It’s also known for its nutritional benefits and savory, yet neutral taste.
As with all produce, fresh is best. Strive to eat romaine within a few days of purchase. You can buy hearts of romaine lettuce instead of the entire head. However, the outermost leaves are highest in nutrient density. No matter which type you buy, make sure to wash thoroughly to remove dirt and debris.
Romaine leaves are sturdy and large, making them an excellent covering for wraps or a substitute for sandwich bread. Simply spread your filling on a leaf of romaine, fold or roll, and eat. You can use a toothpick to hold your creation together if you’re planning on making a healthy lunchbox treat for your child. Just make sure the toothpick is a bright color and prominently placed, so it is not accidentally bitten into.
You can use romaine in any type of salad you choose and as a topping for tacos or chili. It is also hearty enough to add to stir fry dishes — just be sure to make it the last ingredient you add so it doesn’t cook too long.
Anchovies, though widely used in the advanced version of this salad, can be omitted for vegetarians and dislikesr of fish. We love the anchovies and its umami flavor, hence I added it. Chicken is also optional . Grilled Chicken is the best paired option for this salad.
Mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, lime juice are all a must. In case Dijon is not available, mustard paste or powder can be replaced, though the debonair taste will be slightly varied. Worcestershire sauce will give that umami flavor if you are quitting anchovies.
Dressing is the pinnacle which culminates in a well balanced Ceasar salad.
Lettuce, tomato, chicken are all blant or lightly flavored. Dressing is what gives the complete flavor. Prepare it first and keep in fridge. Add according to personal preference. Don’t add any salt since mayo, sauce, mustard, chicken are all seasoned with salt.
After mixing up the salad with dressing, consume immediately. Make the dressing first. Then prepare the chicken and keep it to rest to make it juicy and tender. Finally chop the lettuce and tomatoes(quarter the tomatoes if using normal ones) and combine everything adding, croutons at last.
Combine all the ingredients under dressing to a smooth consistency. Refrigerate till using in salad.
Pat dry the chicken breast. Season with salt and pepper and place Rosemary sprigs on it. Flatten the thick part out covering with a kitchen towel.
Heat a skillet with a tablespoon of oil. Place the seasoned side on to the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes on each side and rest for 2 minutes.
In a salad bowl, throw in the lettuce and tomatoes. Add the dressing and incorporate.
Transfer to a bowl. Top with the chicken and croutons and a sprinkle of parmesan.