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Categories: Quick and easy, Salads

American Fish's Caesar salad

American Fish's Caesar salad
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: I dined at American Fish in Las Vegas at the Aria hotel last weekend and enjoyed the best Caesar salad ever. Absolutely perfect, white anchovies with the perfect garlicky Caesar dressing. Any chance Michael Mina would give up ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4
Note: Adapted from American Fish in Las Vegas. Instead of the oil-cured olives suggested below, the restaurant assembles the salad with dried black olives, drying black (Taggiasca or Kalamata) olives in a 225-degree oven for 6 to 8 hours (depending on the size), then chopping.

Lemon vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Caesar dressing

  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the lemon. Slowly whisk in the oils, 1 teaspoon at a time, constantly whisking until the oil is emulsified to make a mayonnaise. This makes about 2 cups mayonnaise.

Step 2Using a mortar and pestle, or chopping and crushing with the side of a knife, combine the capers, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and anchovy fillets to form a paste.

Step 3Stir the puree into the mayonnaise until thoroughly combined, then stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This makes about 2 cups dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the remaining dressing will keep for 2 to 3 days, covered and refrigerated.

Fried capers

  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • Salt

Step 1In a small saucepan, heat 1 to 2 inches of oil until a thermometer inserted reads 350 degrees. Add the capers and fry for 30 seconds. Drain on a paper towel, then season to taste with salt.

Croutons

  • 16 slices French baguette, very thinly sliced on the bias
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the baguette slices with the oil, then lightly sprinkle over salt and pepper. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes.

Salad and assembly

  • 4 heads Little Gem lettuce, or 4 hearts of romaine
  • Lemon vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup Caesar dressing, more as desired
  • Croutons
  • 16 lemon segments, from 2 lemons sliced into 8 wedges each
  • 8 white anchovy fillets (boquerones), halved crosswise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped oil-cured black olives
  • Fried capers
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1Quarter each head of lettuce lengthwise, and toss the wedges with the lemon vinaigrette and chopped parsley.

Step 2On each of 4 plates, spoon over a light base of Caesar dressing, then top the dressing on each plate with 4 lettuce quarters.

Step 3Garnish each wedge with a crouton and lemon wedge, and top each crouton with half of an anchovy fillet. Sprinkle over the chopped black olives, fried capers and Parmesan cheese evenly over the 4 servings. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
534 calories; 9 grams protein; 17 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 48 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 40 mg. cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 718 mg. sodium.
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