Mollie’s Mock Caesar

by Mollie Doyle

When I was 19, I dropped out of college and lived with the Allison family in Cambridge, and at their home on Chappaquidick. Lindsey, the mom, is an avid fisherwoman and an amazing cook. She had this killer recipe for Caesar salad that changed my mind about anchovies. Twenty years later, a babysitter named Sofia, a devout vegetarian, came to live with us. I developed this non-anchovy Caesar recipe, based on Lindsey’s original, for her. I think it is safe to say that it changed her mind about Caesar salads.

Ingredients

  • one or two heads of romaine
  • 1 bunch of kale (if you are a straight up romaine person for Caesar salads, forget this. I like the color variation for added nutrients of the kale.)
  • 1/2 loaf of sourdough bread (it can be a day or two old)
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • glugs of the best olive oil you have
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. of Pommery Meaux Mustard
  • 2 shakes of Tabasco
  • 3 shales of Worstershire (This does have anchovy in it and you can skip this if you have a rigorously, serious vegetarian who deserves and wants to have no fish whatsoever)
  • 1 block of good Parmesan cheese
Mollie’s Mock Caesar

Christine Sargologos

First, make the croutons: Tear up or cut up the bread into bite-sized pieces. Whir all the garlic cloves in a Cuisinart. Pour a generous two or three glugs of olive oil into a heavy pan–a wrought iron pan or heavy enameled pan works well for this. Put this on a burner on medium to low heat. Add 2/3 of the whirred garlic to the pan, reserving the rest for the dressing. Throw the broken or cut-up bread into the olive oil and garlic. Stir and move the bread around occasionally until the bread is golden and drenched with olive oil and garlic. You may need to add more olive oil as the bread will soak it up.

As the bread is becoming croutons, wash the lettuce and kale if you are using it. Dry it and toss it into a big bowl, tearing or cutting it into bitesized pieces (but nothing too small).

For the dressing: As the bread is becoming croutons, wash the lettuce and kale if you are using it. Dry it and toss it into a big bowl, tearing or cutting it into bitesized pieces (but nothing too small).

Throw the warm croutons onto the greens, toss with dressing. Serve.

Yield: 4 servings