This salad can serve two as a full meal or four as a side dish.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ( EVOO), divided
- 1 packed cup cubed semolina bread (day-old is fine)
- Coarse black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons anchovy paste (optional for strict vegetarians)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (6-8 drops)
- 1 large egg yolk or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg product
- Juice of 1 large ripe lemon
- 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
- A little coarse salt, to taste
- 2 handfuls freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Crack the garlic away from its skin with a good whack of your hand against the flat of your knife, centered on top of each clove. Rub the inside of your salad bowl with one clove of cracked garlic. Place that clove and a second clove aside. Mince the remaining two cloves and place them in a small bowl.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns around the pan, and the two cracked cloves of garlic. When the garlic “speaks” by sizzling in the EVOO, add the bread and toast until golden, tossing occasionally, 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle the cubed bread with a little pepper and remove from the heat.
Combine the minced garlic and three glugs EVOO (about 4 tablespoons) in a small bowl or in a small skillet. Heat the garlic and EVOO, either in a microwave oven for 1 minute, or over low heat on a stovetop, for 2-3 minutes. Stir the anchovy paste into the warm EVOO with a fork and let stand until the EVOO returns to room temperature.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and egg yolk or egg product to a salad bowl and stir with a fork. Add the lemon juice and stir into the egg. Add the EVOO, garlic and anchovy mixture in a slow stream and continue to beat with a fork. Add the romaine to the bowl and toss to coat. Add a generous amount of cheese and croutons and toss again to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.