Canlis, a longtime Seattle institution, floats high above Lake Union. A menu highlight is the Canlis salad, which is in some measure a basic steakhouse salad: chopped romaine with bacon and croutons and cherry tomatoes, all cloaked in a thick, lemony dressing that recalls Caesar (you all did love him once, and not without cause). But a strong scent of the Middle East flows through it as well, courtesy of the Canlis clan’s roots in Greece and Lebanon, with heaps of chopped mint and oregano mixed in with the greens. These combine with the bright, eggy taste of the dressing to elevate the entirety far beyond the confines of a salad to be eaten simply with meat and potatoes. A Canlis salad, properly prepared, is a revelation.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2heads of romaine, outer leaves discarded, chopped
- 4bacon slices, chopped
- 1cup cubed fresh Italian bread
- ¼cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½cup scallions, thinly sliced
- ¾cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
- 12cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Step 1Wash the lettuce in cold water, dry thoroughly and put in the refrigerator to chill.
Step 2In a large pan set over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until it is nearly crisp, then remove to a bowl. Drain off all but one tablespoon of fat, then add the bread cubes to the pan and toss to coat. Bring heat to low and toast, tossing the bread occasionally with a spoon until it is crisp. Remove to another bowl.
Step 3Make the dressing. Place a whole egg in its shell into a coffee cup, then pour boiling water over the top. Allow the egg to cook for 60 seconds, then remove it. Rinse with water until cool. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil, then crack the coddled egg into the bowl and whisk again, vigorously, to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
Step 4In a salad bowl, combine cold lettuce, scallions, mint, oregano and the reserved bacon. Toss with enough dressing to coat the lettuce, then top with the tomatoes, the croutons and a goodly shower of cheese.