BAKED OYSTERS CAESAR SALAD

Love oysters and Caesar Salad? Here’s how to enjoy both, but first a little historical clarification. The very famous Caesar Salad is NOT named after the ancient Roman Emperor Julius Caesar.

Rather the esteemed Caesar Salad was created by and named for an Italian immigrant and restaurateur named Caesar Cardini, who operated two restaurants, one in Mexico and one in southern California.

Cardini lived in San Diego but he also worked in Tijuana where he (and Hollywood’s rich and famous) avoided the American alcoholic restrictions during Prohibition. He invented his famous dish when a dining room rush on a hot 4th of July afternoon in 1924 depleted his kitchen's salad supplies.

Cardini, like all pro chefs, made do with what he had, adding some compensating dramatic flair by table-side tossing the newly created salad himself.

His story is backed up by no less tha Julia Child herself, who said she had eaten a memorable Caesar salad at Cardini's restaurant when she was a small child living in southern California during the 1920's. 

According to Cardini’s daughter Rosa, the original Caesar salad did not contain anchovies. Instead, the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. 

Baked Oysters Caesar Salad

Baked Oyster Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 Taylor Oysters, shucked
  • Olive spray oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.   
  3. Place flour in a small shallow bowl.
  4. In another shallow bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water until smooth.
  5. In a third bowl, stir together panko, salt and cayenne.
  6. One at a time, roll oysters in flour, dip in egg.
  7. Coat in panko and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Lightly coat oysters with spray oil.
  9. Bake until browned and crispy, about 12 minutes.   

Caesar Salad Ingredients

  • 3 heads romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, coddled for 1 minute
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Trim about 1" from the bottom of each head of lettuce.
  2. Peel away all dark green leaves until you reach heart of the lettuce- no longer than 3".
  3. Separate leaves.
  4. Wash and pat dry.
  5. Thoroughly dry with paper towels
  6. Very thinly slice some of the remaining leaves so you have 1 1/2 cups loosely packed lettuce.
  7. Set aside.
  8. Put lemon juice, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a large wooden salad bowl.
  9. Crack coddled egg into bowl.
  10. Mix vigorously until smooth.
  11. Gradually add remaining 1⁄3 cup oil, stirring constantly.
  12. Add cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Toss well.
  14.  

Plating

  1. Place lettuce leaves on a platter.
  2. Divided dressed lettuce among lettuce squares and top with a hot oyster.
  3. Garnish lightly with thinly sliced lettuce.

Serve immediately.

Caesar would have loved this savory oyster dish!