Egg and Avocado Caesar
By: Celia Brooks BrownServes: 4
I call this salad a 'Caesar' because of the sharp, eggy dressing and cos lettuce that give it a resemblance to the classic salad. But there the similarity ends. Alas, even Burger King now has a Caesar Salad on the menu, which might just finish off the poor beast. So I'm reviving it in my own style. Though I usually make variations throughout the summer, this version satisfied all the requirements for a book I just finished called Low-Carb Vegetarian – avocado, extra eggs and olives make it a well-rounded and substantial lunch or supper on a balmy evening. For the book, however, croutons were not allowed! This time I'm sneaking them back in. Make fried croutons in your usual fashion if you like, but I find that these little hunks of oil-licked and garlic-scraped toast are the ideal vehicle for delivering the unctuous dressing.
6 organic eggs
60ml freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to finish
60ml white wine vinegar
5ml Worcestershire sauce or light soy sauce
A small handful of chives, snipped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
60ml finest extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating croutons
2 perfectly ripe avocados
Juice of half a lemon
2 hearts of cos lettuce, torn, washed and dried
100g top-quality black olives, such as Kalamata
2–4 thick slices rustic bread (2 if it's a plump loaf, 4 if it's a slender one), such as pain de campagne or sourdough
Half clove garlic
1. Place the eggs in a small pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes only, so they're neither runny nor powdery but 'butter-yolked', then drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Peel and rinse again.
2. To make the dressing, place 2 peeled eggs in a bowl and mash well with a fork. Add the Parmesan, vinegar, Worcestershire or soy sauce, chives, a little salt and pepper and whisk thoroughly. Gradually whisk in the oil.
3. Quarter the remaining eggs. Just before serving, peel, stone and quarter the avocados. Dress lightly in lemon juice.
4. Make a bed of lettuce on each plate and top with avocados, egg quarters and olives.
5. Toast the bread, then rub all over with the cut side of the garlic. Cut bread into cubes and dribble a little olive oil over them. Distribute amongst the plates.
6. Spoon dressing over everything. Finish with more Parmesan, grated or shaved, as you please.
© Recipe copyright 2004 Celia Brooks Brown