Have your husband toss the salad while the guests sit at their places finishing their aperitif and you do last minute chores.
Prepare for him:
Wooden salad bowl with 1 t. of salt and 2 split garlic cloves set directly at the host's place on your dining table.
To his right, on a tray or cart, place glass bowl of chilled torn romaine (about 1 lb.).
In 6 small bowls, such as custards, place (in this order):
1 - 6 T. olive or salad oil
2 - 2 T. wine vinegar, 1 T. lemon juice and 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
3 - 4 finely cut fillets of anchovy
4 - 1 t. dry mustard, 1 t. black pepper and 1 T. Parmesan cheese
5 - 24 small croutons (bread cubes, browned in butter, flavored with a garlic clove)
6 - 1 fresh unbroken egg
Before he starts the process below, cover the egg with hot water. The five minutes he takes to mix the salad will coddle it properly.
He should now quickly proceed as follows, keeping up a witty patter throughout and making all moves with a flourish:
Spin the salad bowl and crush the garlic in the salt over the sides of the bowl. A regular dinner fork is best for this.
Remove the garlic, but leave the salt. Add the oil and beat vigorously-twirling the bowl at a 45° angle all the while. The guests love this.
Now: Stir in, in rapid succession, the bowl of lemon, wine, vinegar, etc.; the bowl of anchovies; and the bowl of cheese, pepper, etc.
Make sure this is whipped well.
Dump in the greens and toss a moment with your salad fork and spoon.
Add the bread cubes on top and then with a final flourish, break the coddled egg. It will slide out of sight quickly.
Tell one joke as you put in the coddled egg. This usually distracts any squeamish guests. Jokes may be adjusted to fit the time and the crowd. I often have church goers present so try to have a slightly risque joke. They seem to like these and feel quite safe to laugh heartily at this point. Now toss thoroughly but gently. "Don't soak the bread" is the key word. When you finish tossing, gently place a generous helping on each salad plate and let everyone eat this before your wife starts serving the main course.
The recipe serves six people, but you should plan on some delighted, eager guest asking for seconds. You can quietly roll out the dirty dishes on the cart when you go out for wine.
Keywords: salads Category: Salads   Cookbooks: Carl and Hugh, Ferguson Family
Recipe by J. Carl Ferguson, Jr. Added: February 01, 2007 by deebeeeff Last Updated: June 06, 2015