In Julia Child’s Kitchen

 julia child caesar and salmon en papillote
Julia Child – Caesar & Salmon Dinner

In Memoriam
Julia Child
August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004

chef, mentor, heroine, author, television icon, inspiration, nonagenarian, friend

“Today we are going to make a delightful dinner, Caesar Salad and Salmon en Papillote. Of course, cooking en papillote does not have to be fancy – it’s a fine method for everyday cooking too.”

Julia Child Caesar Salad
Julia’s Kitchen: Caesar Salad

“I am probably one of the few people around who saw the real Caesar Cardini making his salad. I was about 9 when my parents took me to Tijuana, just the other side of the border from San Diego. They were so excited when big jolly Caesar himself came to the table to make the salad, which had already been written up and talked about everywhere. And it was dramatic, I remember most clearly the eggs going in, and how he tossed the leaves so it looked like a wave turning over.”
Julia Child

An adaptation from Julia and Jacques Cooking At Home By Julia Child and Jacques Pépin

homemade croutons
Homemade Croutons are Essential

“Homemade croutons are essential for our Caesar salad and a fine addition to a basic green salad as well as soups.”

Slice country style white bread into 1/2″ cubes. Bake in a 350° oven until lightly toasted. Meanwhile crush one large garlic clove with the flat end of chef’s knife, sprinkle 1/4 t. salt. Mince well. Pour 1 T. olive oil on the garlic, mash again with knife, rubbing and pressing to make a soft purée. Scrape purée into a frying pan, add 1 T. olive oil, warm over low-medium heat. Add croutons and toss to infuse with garlic oil.

romaine lettuce leaves
Romaine Leaves: Toss with Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Drizzle olive oil over the romaine leaves and toss to coat, lifting the leaves from the bottom and toward you, so they tumble over like wave. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper.

worcestershire sauce
Essential Ingredients: Worcestershire Sauce & Fresh Lemon

Add fresh squeezed lemon juice and several drops of Worcestershire Sauce, and toss again. Taste for seasoning, add more if needed.

caesar salad wave toss
Toss the Leaves so They Look Like a Wave Turning Over

Toss “like a wave” again. Crack a coddled egg and drop it right on to the romaine leaves, then toss to break it up and coat the leaves.

“This version is quite close to the original by Caesar himself, and you can see it is really a very simple salad. Use small tender romaine leaves, real Parmigiano Reggiano – none of that fake stuff – and the one-minute coddled egg for creaminess – although you can substitute  a teaspoon of mayonnaise {or heart-healthy veganaise} for the egg. But you don’t want herbs or anchovies and things like that – then you have adulterated it.”

Parmigiano-Reggiano, nothing else will do
Parmigiano-Reggiano, nothing else will do

Grate fresh Parmigiano -Reggiano and add the croutons. Toss for the last time, just to mix the croutons into the salad.

original caesar salad
Meant to be Eaten by Hand

“When Caesar first served his famous salad in the 1920’s, he used just the hearts of romaine lettuce, the tender short leaves in the center, and he presented them whole. The salad was tossed and dressed, then arranged on each plate so you could pick up a leaf by its short end and chew it down bit by bit, then pick up another.”

The Original Caesar Salad
The Original Caesar Salad

“Many customers didn’t like to get their fingers covered with egg-and-cheese-and-garlic dressing, and he changed to the conventional torn leaf. Too bad, since the salad lost much of its individuality and drama. You can certainly serve it the original way at home – just provide your guests with plenty of big paper napkins.”

“And plan to be extravagant.”

Fresh Wild King Salmon Filet
Fresh Wild King Salmon Filet

“A classic way to cook a fish filet is to seal it inside a tightly folded package of parchment paper and bake it briefly in a hot oven. Known as en papillote, this gentle method cooks the enclosed fish in its own moisture and creates its own sauce of natural juices.”

“Cooking en papillote is also fun – assembling and wrapping the fish in paper…”

julia child's tomato and shallot dressing
Tomato & Shallot Dressing

Season each side of the salmon with a big pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Place a bit of soft butter {or olive oil} on a piece of 20″ X 15″ parchment paper. Place the fish in the center, its most attractive side up.

Top the fish with 1/2 c. diced (peeled & seeded) fresh tomato mixed with 1 T. finely minced shallot.

Salmon en Papillote with Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
Salmon en Papillote with Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley

Scatter parsley leaves over and around the fish.

en papillote
Salmon en Papillote

Lift the shorter sides of the parchment so the edges meet right above the salmon, like a tent. Fold over several times then fold the sides together. Crimp the folds tightly with your fingers, use pins at the end to seal the package completely.

Julia Child's Salmon en Papillote
Julia Child’s Salmon en Papillote

Bake on a cookie sheet in a 425° oven for 8 minutes for a filet less than an inch thick, or 10 minutes for a filet 1 to 1 1/4″ thick.

Cooking en Papillote does not have to be Fancy
Cooking en Papillote does not have to be Fancy

“It is thrilling to open the package at the table, revealing a beautifully cooked dish releasing all the pent-up aromas in one heady burst.”

To serve, carefully transfer the package to a dinner plate, remove the pins and simply unfold the parchment.

julia child floribunda roses
Julia Child Floribunda Roses

Roses the color of butter.

Happy Birthday Julia Child
Merci Beaucoup
Toujours Bon Appétit

TASTE WITH THE EYES celebrates Julia Child in these posts:

32 thoughts on “In Julia Child’s Kitchen”

  1. Beautiful!
    I could hear Julia’s voice while reading.

    One of my “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” volumes is a first edition (a lucky find at a book sale). Inside another treasure: a typewritten manuscript for a “Demonstration by Julia Child at the Smithonian Institution on March 7, 1972”.

  2. This recipe sounds awesome. I have to add, though, that I had never heard the name “Julia Child” before I moved to the US four years ago. She is hardly known in Germany and I have a hard time understanding the obsession and worship with/for this person.

    1. Julia Child holds a special place in America because she was one of the first TV chefs. She was a true TV pioneer.
      Coming out of the 1950’s, many Americans were starting to forget how to cook from scratch. She demystified “old school” traditional French cooking and made it accessible to many Americans.
      She was on TV making different cooking shows from 1963-2000 so several generations of Americans grew up learning the basics of cooking from her.

  3. What a lovely post, Lori Lynn. And thank you for the authentic Caesar recipe ~ I’ve not seen it before, and it’s so romantic the way the dressing is built up gradually on the leaves, rather than making up the dressing first then tossing.

  4. My hubby always orders a Caesar salad at restaurants….I need to bite the bullet and make him this at home. Thanks for the nudge~

  5. Well done LL, and thanks for keeping the memory of our beloved Julia alive. But, of course, could we ever forget her? I think not! She has made an indelible impression on so many of us home and professional cooks.

    Great photo effects, LL. The photos really had the feel of cooking in another era. I also liked your use of one of my favorite cookbooks – Julia and Jacques – a great pair!!! Long live Julia!

  6. What a beautiful and masterful way to celebrate Julia’s gifts. I heard her so distinctly as I read the blog entry. (Love that tearing the Romaine leaves diffuses the drama!) And both will be on my table this week. You twisted my salmon-hungry, Caesar-loving-salad arm.

  7. Lovely homage… she seemed a wonderful generous lady and so many of us and our mothers, really broke out of beige food because of her. Happy Birthday, Julia!

  8. This is truly your BEST!! I loved how you combined the quotes of Julia with the picture reels. It took me awhile to realize that those were not pictures originally taken by Julia herself. Amazing! You keep outdoing yourself!!

  9. I was hoping for a shot of the roses, and you did not disappoint. 🙂 Your post and meal are tres magnifique! I loved all of the details about the salad, especially. So great. You always do our wonderful Mrs. Child up proud. Toujours bon appetit to you, too, LL.

  10. Great recipe and your pics inspired me to go for it tonight. We added caper berries to the recipe just because we love them. It was wonderful and the parchment paper kept everything nice and moist inside. Thanks for sharing!

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