Did You Know?

There is a special technique used in France to mellow the sharpness of fresh garlic. I discovered it years ago in one of Roger Vergé's books and have used it ever since when adding raw garlic to a dish. It maintains the wonderful garlic flavor but tames the bite just a bit.You don't have to peel the garlic cloves because the peel slips off easily after boiling. Place the garlic in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring it to a boil and drain it immediately. Repeat three to 5 times and then use it to mince or slice into your recipe. Here is my favorite one for Casear salad dressing that I've been in the process of perfecting for years. I discovered the beautiful and highly functional granite mortar and pestle when visiting my friend Anna Schwartz in Melbourne Australia. She offered to ship me one but then discovered that it was available in a terrific little Thai store in Chinatown not far from where I live. Elliott had to take me by car because it was too heavy to carry very far! It was relatively inexpensive--around $35 and will last several life-times. The store will ship so if so inclined here's the contact info. 888-618-THAI www.importfood.com/mortarpestle.html If you don't have a mortar and pestle, mince the garlic and anchovies by hand.

Caesar Salad Dressing Makes enough for 8 servings--use about 4 Romaines 7 fluid ounces/200 ml/188 grams/6.6 ounces 4 anchovy fillets 1 clove garlic pinch of coarse salt 1 egg yolk zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/3 cup + 2T vegetable oil 100 grams 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Pound anchovies, garlic, and salt in mortar and pestle to form a paste. Whisk in yolk and lemon juice until smooth. Gradually whisk in vegetable oil, then olive oil and zest. Use within a few hours or refrigerate, bring to room temperature, and whisk lightly. To make the salad, cut off the base of the Romaines and separate into leaves. Tear the larger leaves into thirds, the medium ones into halves, and leave the little ones whole. In a large salad bowl, toss the Romaine and dressing until well mixed. Add some of Parmesan cheese and toss to mix it in. I like to use about 160 grams/ 5.6 ounces and toss most of it with the salad, sprinkling the rest on top of each serving. Since we adore anchovies, I also dot the top with little pieces of them.