Cooking with Julie, of 'Julie & Julia'

August 7, 2009 4:26:27 PM PDT
An original Julia Child recipe prepared by the writer who inspired the film, 'Julie & Julia.'

Julia Child's Caesar Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 18 to 24 crisp, narrow leaves from the hearts of 2 heads of romaine lettuce, or a package of romaine hearts (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup plain toasted croutons
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup or more excellent olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 large egg
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, halved and seeded
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, imported Parmigiano-Reggiano only
Preparing the salad components:
  1. You will probably need 2 large heads of romaine for 3 people, or use a commercially prepared package of "romaine hearts," if they appear fresh and fine. From a large head remove the outside leaves until you get down to the cone where the leaves are 4 to 7 inches in length - you'll want 6 to 8 of these leaves per serving. Separate the leaves and wash them carefully to keep them whole, roll them loosely in clean towels, and keep refrigerated until serving time. (Save the remains for other salads - fortunately, romaine keeps reasonably well under refrigeration. To flavor the croutons, crush the garlic clove with the flat of a chef's knife, sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and mince well. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil on the garlic and mash again with the knife, rubbing and pressing to make a soft purée.
  2. Scrape the purée into the frying pan, add another tablespoon of oil, and warm over low-medium heat. Add the croutons and toss for a minute or two to infuse them with the garlic oil, then remove from the heat. (For a milder garlic flavor, you can strain the purée though a small sieve into a pan before adding the extra croutons. Discard the bits of garlic.)
  3. To coddle the egg, bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer. Pierce the large end of the egg with a pushpin to prevent cracking, then simmer for exactly 1 minute.
Mixing and serving the Caesar:
  1. Dress the salad just before serving. Have ready all the dressing ingredients and a salad fork and spoon for tossing.
  2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the romaine leaves and toss to coat, lifting the leaves from the bottom and turning them towards you, so they tumble over like a wave. Sprinkle them with a generous pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper, toss once or twice, then add the lemon juice and several drops of the Worcestershire, and toss again. Taste for seasoning, and add more, if needed.
  3. Crack the egg and drop it right on the romaine leaves, then toss to break it up and coat the leaves. Sprinkle on the cheese, toss briefly, then add the croutons (and the garlicky bits in the pan, if you wish) and toss for the last time, just to mix them into the salad.
  4. Arrange 6 or more leaves in a single layer on individual plates, scatter the croutons all around, and serve.
About the film:

JULIE & JULIA
Open on August 7
COLUMBIA PICTURES
Comedy

Meryl Streep is Julia Child and Amy Adams is Julie Powell in writer-director Nora Ephron's adaptation of two bestselling memoirs: Powell's Julie & Julia and My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme.

Based on two true stories, Julie & Julia intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends...until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.

Directed by: Nora Ephron
Screenplay by: Nora Ephron
Based upon the Books: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme
Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond
Website: www.julieandjulia.com

About Julie Powell Julie Powell (from Austin, Texas, USA) is an American author best known for the book Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, she attended Amherst College, graduating in 1995 with a double major in theater and creative writing.

While working for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in August 2002, Powell began the Julie/Julia Project, a Web log chronicling her attempt to cook all the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The blog quickly gained a large following, and Powell signed a book deal with Little, Brown and Company. The resulting book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen, was published in 2005.

A film adaptation, also based on Julia Child's biography, directed by Nora Ephron, and titled Julie & Julia, will be released in August 2009. It stars Amy Adams as Powell and Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Powell's second book, Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, will be published simultaneously with the release of Julie & Julia.


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