We’re big fans of a good Caesar salad and frequently enjoy it as a main dish topped with traditional choices like grilled chicken, steak or shrimp, but lately we’ve taken to serving it with an over-easy egg on top. We’ve adapted our standard recipe a bit by adding slices of lightly toasted garlic and modifying the dressing slightly to better complement the egg. The end result is a deliciously satisfying dinner salad that goes from kitchen to table in no time at all.
Fried Egg Caesar Salad
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3 cups Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- White truffle oil for drizzling, optional
For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, see notes
- 1-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise, see notes
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 225°F and line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking the oil, garlic, lemon juice, fish sauce, mayonnaise, Worcestershire and water together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook until barely golden on both sides, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes total. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the garlic to a paper towel-lined plate and leave the oil in the pan.
- Note: For best results, cook the garlic slices in a single layer, moving them around the pan continually. Turn them over with a spatula as soon as you see the slightest bit of color developing on the first side. You want to develop a mellow, lightly toasted flavor, so avoid browning.
- Add the chopped garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add the bread cubes and cook, tossing frequently with a spatula, until the bread is lightly toasted and has absorbed the butter-oil mixture, 1 minute.
- Transfer the croutons to the prepared baking sheet and bake until they’re crisp on the outside, but still slightly soft on the inside, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl, sprinkle with the grated cheese and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and return it to the stove over medium heat. Add 2 of the eggs and cook just until the whites are set.
- Using 2 spatulas, gently flip the eggs over, being careful not to break the yolks. Continue cooking until the yolks reach the desired doneness. We like our yolks runny, which only takes about 1 minute once the egg has been flipped.
- Transfer the cooked eggs to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining eggs.
- Tip: Tilting the pan and spooning a little of the hot oil onto the part of the egg white closest to the yolk before flipping speeds the cooking of the white just a little, and helps to keep the yolk from overcooking.
- Give the dressing a quick whisk, then drizzle it over the lettuce. Toss to combine, then add the toasted garlic, croutons and a few grinds of black pepper. Plate 4 individual servings of salad and top each with an egg.
- For an extra treat, drizzle each serving with a bit of truffle oil and a pinch of truffle salt if desired. Serve immediately.