There is a season: Liven up those CSA greens with Judie’s Restaurant Caesar

  • Thanks to my late mom, you can replicate the Caesar fsalad rom the former Judie’s Restaurant in Amherst. MOLLY PARR

For the Gazette
Published: 6/24/2022 2:44:05 PM
Modified: 6/24/2022 2:41:43 PM

I think we can all agree that the Caesar salad at the late, great Judie’s Restaurant in Amherst was always worth ordering. The salad itself — bites of Romaine lettuce dotted with artichoke hearts, slices of hard boiled eggs, chunks of blue cheese, not to mention the dressing — was always the right choice.

With their closing during the pandemic, I thought I’d tasted my last bite of that salad. It turns out that my mother, of blessed memory, had other plans.

A few months back, I found an ancient copy of a Judie’s Restaurant cookbook on my mother’s bookshelf. The copyright date is from 1981, meaning my mother had the foresight to buy the cookbook from the restaurant approximately 40(!) years ago. And yes, it does have the famous popover recipe, something I definitely want to try out if I ever get a popover pan — or several, since the recipe makes several dozen.

But I do have a blender, which means making this creamy Caesar dressing is a cinch. The original recipe is for a mustardy, horseradish dressing, which simply didn’t appeal to me, so I made a few changes. Yes, you will need to boil some eggs to make this dressing, but the prep work for that is minimal and very hands off.

I keep on hearing from folks that all they have coming in their CSA right now is salad greens, which is always followed by a sigh. But with all the salad greens I have in my fridge, I keep going back to this dressing.

The first time I attempted this recipe, we made croutons with Hungry Ghost bread; the second time, I went easy on myself and bought packaged croutons. If you want to go Judie’s style, add artichoke hearts, more hard boiled egg, and anchovies as well.

I dress my salad with more anchovies, grated parmesan and croutons. The choice is entirely up to you.

Creamy Caesar dressing, adapted from Judie’s Restaurant

Ingredients

4 chopped hard boiled eggs

8 anchovy filets

4 cloves minced garlic

1 cup olive oil

Two thirds cup wine vinegar

One half cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a blender for 2 to 3 minutes.

Refrigerate for several hours before use.

Molly Parr lives in Florence with her husband and two young daughters. She’s been writing her food blog, Cheap Beets, since 2010. Send questions or comments to molly.parr@gmail.com.


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