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By Bev Bennett

Caesar salad is an excellent first course for a dinner party. If you prefer to use the whole romaine lettuce leaves for your Caesar salad, buy 1 large or 2 medium heads for this recipe; if you use only the hearts, buy 4 heads.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 4 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 egg

2 tablespoons water, milk, or chicken broth

1 garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon anchovy paste, or 3 anchovies, finely minced

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

6 cups romaine lettuce leaves, whole or torn

1 cup salad croutons

  1. Beat the egg and combine it with the water in a small, heavy pan.

  2. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon for about 4 minutes or until the egg thickens into a foamy mass and coats a metal spoon with a thin egg layer.

    This process provides a safe alternative to a coddled egg (a Caesar salad standard).

  3. Remove the egg from the pot and place it in a blender with the garlic clove, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, the vinegar, oil, and pepper.

  4. Turn the blender on and process about 30 seconds or until the mixture is creamy.

  5. Place the lettuce leaves in a large serving bowl.

  6. Add the croutons and toss.

  7. Pour on the dressing.

  8. Toss gently but well.

  9. Sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the salad.

Per serving: Calories 240 (From fat 183); Fat 20g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 59mg; Sodium 720mg; Carbohydrate 9g (Dietary fiber 2g); Protein 7g.