I’ve spent a lot of time, maybe too much, trying to figure out how to do this one thing absolutely right.
But I hesitate to say “too much.” How much time is too much time to spend perfecting something that ought to be perfected? I wonder about this, because I’ve been making various grades of mediocre caesar salads for a few years now. Always different, always imperfect in some new way. Always galvanizing some new flawed approach.
And as far as salads go, this is the one I need–and I use that word purposefully, need–to get right. This salad needs to soar. Because it is so frequently botched, so misunderstood, so canned and thoughtlessly thrown together, and its elements, every one of them, deeply perverted in their commonest forms: lumpy, congealed milky white dressing from a bottle; bagged, oversalted croutons; pre-shredded, flavorless Parmesan cheese; and carelessly torn Romaine lettuce.