When one takes a bite out of Caesar Salad, it is not at all uncommon to dream back to the days of Julius Caesar, the Roman general and statesman, who inspired the play entitled Julius Caesar by Shakespeare. In fact, it is quite common to entertain thoughts of Julius Caesar while munching on Parmesan coated romaine lettuce.
Caesar salad was created during the Gallic Wars. It came about as a solution to the hunger pangs of soldiers stationed between the Jura mountains and the Rhone river. Unfortunately, rations were scarce, and the soldiers meager diets consisted of salty fish and muddied waters. This diet caused many soldiers to lapse into a hallucinogenic state.
The solution became obvious to Marcus Junius Brutos, who demanded that the residents of Rome hand over all parmesan cheese to govermental authorities. Romaine lettuce was an easily obtainable item, as lettuce leaves thrived in the soils of Rome.
So it was that starved soldiers crumbled dry, old bread atop lettuce and cheese, thus creating the Caesar Salad, aptly named to induce the name of the great warrior upon their lips.
I’m just kidding, Caesar salad was created by a chef named Caesar Cardini in 1924. He needed a salad quick, and threw together the following ingredients:
1/2 cup of live oil
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 handful of shredded parmesan cheese
Romaine lettuce leaves
Old bread cut into bite size pieces
He did not add anchovies or cherry tomatoes into his salad, that idea was somebody else’s, possibly his brother’s.
If you want to make this salad, mix 1/4 cup of oil and garlic, let that sit for like 15 minutes. Pour it on the bread and broil the bread for around two minutes so that it becomes brown.
Whisk the spices together with the leftover olive oil and some mayonnaise. Pour over torn lettuce. Add broiled bread and cherry tomatoes at will.
As you eat, please do include the Roman tradition of shouting “Hail Caesar!” after every third bite.