Instead of Caesar dressing with a raw egg yolk, try a poached egg. This variation also uses a long strip of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as a form to contain the salad, and dots on a garnish of Parmigiano cream. Beautiful! Photo courtesy Payard.
We were delighted to discover this innovative Caesar salad variation at Payard in New York City.
It borrows its key idea from bibimbap, the signature Korean dish.
Bibimbap (BEE-bim-baahp) means “mixed rice.” It starts with a bowl of white rice topped with seasoned vegetables and chili pepper paste. A raw or fried egg and sliced beef or other meat are typically added. The ingredients are stirred together just before eating; the egg yolk creates a creamy sauce.
Chef François Payard adapted the fried egg concept to a poached egg atop a Caesar salad, creating a delicious riff that also allays concerns of eating the raw egg yolk in classic Caesar dressing.*
So gather your romaine, grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, croutons and anchovies. Make a dressing from olive oil and fresh lemon juice (and anchovy paste, if you prefer it to fresh anchovies).
Toss the romaine and cheese with the dressing, add the croutons and top with the poached egg.
You can also add shrimp or sliced chicken—although you’ll have to decide which comes first: the chicken or the egg.
LOOKING FOR A GREAT PARMIGIANO?
Check out this Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The Bonati family is famous for its Parmigiano Reggiano. They attribute their impeccably flavored cheese to the diet of their cows, which consists of hay, oats, orzo, corn flakes and dried beans. The cheese is produced in artisan batches—only four wheels a day. Each wheel is then aged for two years, according to the requirements of authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, to bring out the full depth of flavors.
*The original recipe used only lemon to dress the salad. Anchovies, Worcestershire Sauce and creamy Caesar dressing were later additions. Here’s the original Caesar salad recipe.