Tom Aikens' classic Caesar salad recipe includes a recipe for making your own baguette, which isn't entirely necessary but will give it a touch of class. Leave out the chicken to make this recipe pescatarian

To prepare the chicken, butterfly the chicken so you have 2 pieces. Place between 2 pieces of cling film and pound the chicken breast to about 4-5mm thick
Butterflying a chicken or turkey breast
Lay the chicken or turkey breast skin-side down on a chopping board. Use the palm of your hand to hold the breast in place and slide a knife through the side of the breast; so it opens like a book but doesn't create 2 separate pieces
Lightly whisk all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl until combined, mix in the chicken until well coated. Leave overnight (or for 12 hours) in the fridge
For the Caesar dressing, blend the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, garlic, anchovies and egg yolk, then slowly pour in the oil, with the blade still running, until the sauce starts to thicken and emulsify
Next, add the lemon juice, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water. If your dressing splits you can add lemon juice to help bring it back together again
For the ficelle bread, mix the water with the yeast and flour mix with a dough hook on a medium speed for 8 minutes then beat well for 4 minutes on a high speed until the dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl
T55 Flour
This flour is milled from hard and soft grains to give it less gluten than strong flour and slightly more than plain flour. It gives classic plain white French bread varieties their unique texture and characteristics
Add the salt to the dough after 15 minutes and knead for 2-3 minutes, then leave to prove for 1 hour. Knock back, then separate the mix into 120g portions. Roll out each portion into long baguettes. Place onto a floured tray and leave to prove for 30-40 minutes at room temperature
Knock back
To knock back or knock down is the process where by the dough is punched or kneaded until it returns to its original size before the first rise/proof. This will allow for a second fermentation to take place to add further flavour and develop texture in the crumb
Dust the baguettes with flour and bake at 210°C/gas mark 6 1/2 for 10-12 minutes with 2 steam injections until nicely coloured, then cool on a wire rack. If you do not have the tools for the steam, simply add a tray of boiling water to the base of the oven just before cooking
When ready to start the salad, cut the ficelle bread diagonally across into slices and toss in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toast in a hot oven at 180°C/gas mark 3 until golden in colour
Place the washed and trimmed baby gem leaves into a bowl and add a little dressing to bind them together, along with half of the Parmesan and croutons
Heat a charcoal grill or barbecue until roasting hot and grill the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes. Slice the breast up into strips allowing approximately 5-6 pieces per portion
Divide the salad into bowls. Top with the chicken and cover with the remaining Parmesan and toasted bread, along with the anchovy fillets
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Caesar salad recipe with a light and crisp white wine, a rosé wine, or a fresh and medium bodied white wine


Caesar dressing

Ficelle bread

  • 30ml of olive oil, for toasting the bread
  • 375g of T55 flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 8g of yeast
  • 9g of salt
  • 210ml of water
  • salt
  • pepper

Chicken marinade

To serve

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Tom Aikens shares a delicious Caesar salad recipe with Great British Chefs - a perfect recipe for the British summer