29 Mar Caesar Salad with White Anchovy Scotch Eggs and Scorched Lemon
I’ve spent years searching for the perfect Caesar salad. I’ve scoured every pub and restaurant, high and low. But during my travels, whereby I’ve sampled many a delicious take on this classic, there always seems to be something missing.
You see, you can add a little ‘oomph’ to a Caesar salad any which way; top it with chicken, throw in some smoked salmon or trout. But nothing has ever gotten me quite over the line when it comes to both protein and fulfilment.
So, I went on an adventure with a Scotch egg. I added some white anchovies, and now here we are. Combined with the classic Caesar salad staples of crispy Cos, croutons a perfectly runny egg, and a perfectly balanced addition of salty anchovy, all boxes are officially ticked.
This is probably one of my more complicated recipes, if only for the number of steps involved… but the combination of rich, creamy dressing with bacon and fresh salad makes it totally worth it. Just be sure to take your time, watch what you’re doing, and have fun with the process!
Enjoy with gusto,
Caesar Salad with White Anchovy Scotch Eggs and Scorched Lemon
For the Scotch eggs:
8 eggs (6 for the Scotch eggs, 2 for coating/crumbing) (see notes)
500g pork sausage mince
½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
8 white anchovy fillets, finely chopped
½ tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
100g plain flour
Salt and pepper
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Oil/lard, for frying
For the Salad:
6 rashers middle bacon, diced
2 baby cos lettuce, sliced
100g parmesan, shaved
2 cups croutons
For the Dressing (see notes):
1 egg yolk
4 white anchovies, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 lemon, halved
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper
Place 4 of the eggs into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath for the eggs. Once the eggs are cooked, gently crack the shells and transfer to the ice bath. Allow to sit in the bath for at least 10 minutes. Shell/peel the eggs and set aside on some paper towel to drain.
While the eggs are draining, using cold wet hands, mix the sausage meat in a large bowl with the fresh herbs, mustard and anchovy fillets.
Once well combined, divide the mixture into 6 portions, flattening each into a flat disc, approximately 5mm thick. One by one, place each egg carefully in the centre of each disc, gently shaping the meat to enclose the egg. When all eggs are encased in the mince mixture, transfer to a tray lined with baking paper and place in the fridge for at least half an hour (no longer than 45 minutes).
Meanwhile, prepare the Scotch eggs coating ingredients in an assembly line, by placing the remaining 2 eggs, flour and breadcrumbs in 3 x separate shallow bowls. Lightly beat the eggs and season the flour. Remove the meat-encased eggs from the refrigerator and one by one, dip in the flour, followed by the beaten eggs, then the breadcrumbs. Ensure each is well coated in breadcrumbs, before transferring to a baking paper-lined tray. Return to the fridge until ready to cook and serve.
*If using store-bought dressing, skip this step.
While the eggs chill, make the dressing. Blend the egg yolk, anchovies, mustard and the juice of one half of the lemon in a blender until smooth. Slowly and gradually add the oil in a thin stream until combined and the mixture thickens. Use water to thin if required, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Prepare the salad. Shallow fry the bacon pieces until crunchy, then set aside on paper towel to drain and cool. Once drained, in a large bowl, combine the cos lettuce, parmesan, croutons and bacon.
Finally, cook the Scotch eggs. Heat the oil to approximately 180C (drop in a few breadcrumbs – they should sizzle but not burn). Fry the eggs, two at a time, for 6 – 8 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Then, remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan or grill plate over high heat. Place the lemon halves flesh side down and allow to heat through, being careful not to burn. Once the flesh is lightly charred and golden, remove from heat and allow to rest while you assemble the salad.
To serve, place the salad on serving plates. Cut the Scotch eggs in half and place on top. Finally, follow with a generous drizzle of the dressing, and garnish with any left over bacon, cheese, croutons and lashings of the scorched lemon juice.
Where possible, choose slightly older eggs. They are easier to peel than perfectly fresh eggs, as they develop an air pocket between the shell and the white.
Feel free to skip the ‘dressing’ portion of this recipe. A good quality store-bought Caesar dressing will work perfectly well in a pinch.
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