Forget caesar: a bang-up cleopatra salad

Forget Caesar: A bang-up Cleopatra salad The classic the way it was meant to be-garlic fragrant, anchovy sly, and elegantly adorned with a pyramid of sliced lemon-grilled chicken.


Serves 6


1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 large clove garlic minced
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets patted dry and minced, or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg very fresh
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus extra for garnish
3 heads romaine lettuce well chilled
Vegetable oil for brushing
1 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought large croutons
Freshly ground pepper


To make the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Place the chicken in a baking dish. Add the marinade. Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, anchovies, salt, and lemon juice. Add the egg, whisking the dressing until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking vigorously to thicken. Whisk in the cheese. Taste and adjust the flavor. Set aside.
Separate the romaine leaves, discarding the coarse outer leaves and saving the inner leaves and hearts. Keep the leaves whole.
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas or electric grill on high. Brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Place the chicken breasts directly over the hot fire. Cover the grill and cook the chicken on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and cover again. Cook about 4 more minutes, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife, or an instant-read thermometer registers 165ºF. Set aside.
To assemble: Pour half of the dressing in the bottom of an oversized mixing bowl. Add the croutons and toss in the dressing until thoroughly coated. Add the lettuce leaves and hearts, and the remaining dressing. Toss just until coated. Divide among 6 entrée plates. Thinly slice the chicken breasts and arrange pyramid-style over the top. Garnish with additional cheese and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately. This is finger food-meant to be eaten royally, one leaf at a time.


If you prefer to avoid raw eggs, substitute 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil in place of the egg.