" Grumpy Old Men" Young at Hearts of Romaine Seizure Salad

As you get older, you will realize the benefits of a well-rounded diet. Then, maybe you'll start to better appreciate delicious salads like this one.

You will need:

For the dressing:

  • 8 anchovy filets (reserve oil)
  • 1 egg yolk (or substitute 1 tablespoon mayonnaise)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup good Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 3/4 cup pure olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the croutons:

  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons reserved anchovy oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/4" cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 6 Hearts of Romaine, washed and chilled
  • 1 bone to pick
  • 1 old grudge, held with gusto


1. Dressing, I'm supposed to make dressing? In a medium mixing bowl, mash half of the anchovy filets. Add the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, black pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire and one-half cup of the grated Parmesan. Whisk all ingredients together, making sure to complain audibly if the movement causes any pain.

2. All this exercise can't be good. Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, while whisking constantly. (If you haven't alienated everyone within earshot, it's a good idea to ask someone to help by trickling the oil in a little at a time while you whisk.) Keep whisking until all of the oil has been emulsified and the dressing (and most likely your whisking arm) is quite stiff. If the dressing gets a little too thick, whisk in a couple of tablespoons of ice water.

3. What's with the fancy toast on my salad? Combine the anchovy oil, olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Add the croutons and toss to coat with the oil. Continue cooking until the croutons begin to turn golden brown, stirring constantly.

4. My heart, it's my heart! Tear the hearts of romaine into bite-sized pieces, or larger (depending on the fit of your dentures).

5. Sorry, false alarm ... (not that you care). Toss the lettuce with a ladle-full of the dressing. Pile on to chilled plates and top with warm croutons, anchovies, and grated Parmesan. (Feel free to serve with any fresh grilled catch from recent ice-fishing excursions.)

6. Goodness, what a lovely evening this has been! Muster all available acting prowess and make the transformation into "chipper and adorable curmudgeon" just long enough to recruit plenty of help with the dishes. Then kick everybody out and watch the lottery results!

Serves 8

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