The Caesar of Mel for Four

We could argue about who makes the best Caesar salad in Sacramento. The Waterboy does a stellar job, then there is Zinfandel Grill (lemony), Jack’s Urban Eats (price point) and more. But my friend Mel, let me tell you, his is truly memorable.
I recently had Mel and his friend Laura over for dinner. Being a fellow foodie, he wanted to contribute. He decided on a Caesar salad while I’d come up with a protien to top it off.
Mel showed up with all his own stuff including his one and only wooden bowl for Caesar. The anchovies went in first followed by squeezes of lemon juice. Mel’s thought is the acid breaks down the anchovy a bit and makes it easier to mash them. We all like anchovies so he put in 5 or 6.
Next, just a tad of coarse sea salt and a heaping teaspoon of French’s mustard. He used a garlic press for the 3 garlic cloves and added several shakes of Worcestershire sauce. At this point he stirred and tasted. A little more lemon juice and a shake more of Worcestershire.
Next he coddled an egg and added the yolk. I asked why coddle? He’d been told way back coddling kills any bacteria in the egg so he just does it that way. He stirred in the egg then added olive oil. Another taste, then on went the freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. It looked like this:
He stepped aside to the bread and made his croutons. Mel always makes his own croutons!
His next step is to cut up or tear the Romain lettuce. He puts it directly on the dressing and tosses it all together. More parmesan, top with croutons and we were good to go.
I’d chosen to grill buffalo tenderloin for the protien. Unfortunately, I only have this semi-bloody picture because at that point, we were finishing our second bottle of wine and I forgot to take a picture of the final Caesar with buffalo. It was ummm good on top of the salad!
After experiencing Mel’s Caesar, I can say with certainty that he makes the best I’ve ever had!

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