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Canlis Salad

I wish I’d invented this salad.


I thought I’d tried just about every combination of some sort of lettuce + some sort of vinaigrette imaginable. Then I read about this salad, served for 60-plus years at the Canlis Restuarant, an old school steakhouse in Seattle, in The New York Times a couple of months ago, and I was intrigued.

I loved that it wasn’t something new. That it called for lots of fresh oregano and mint and Romano, a cheese I adore but often push aside in favor of its fancier (and pricier) formaggi, Parmigiano Reggiano. And perhaps the most simple of all vinaigrettes – lemon juice, olive oil, and a coddled egg to hold it together. Unlike a Caesar or a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing, two go-to salads for meaty meals, this salad’s light, lemony notes are a perfect foil to whatever else you’ve decided to put on the plate.

I’ve already made it twice.

It is great with a perfectly seared Angus tenderloin steak (which I’ve now also had twice). It would be lovely on its own.

I’ve decided this is going to be my summer of 2013 salad, the perfect accompaniment to sunsets against the Jemez mountains. More on that later.

Canlis Salad

Makes 4 servings


Adapted from a recipe from Canlis restaurant in Seattle in The New York Times

I swapped out mesclun for Romaine lettuce, which the original recipe calls for, and found that I prefer seeing the different colors and textures on the plate. I also omitted the croutons and reduced the amount of Romano by two-thirds, creating a lighter version than the original.


1. Fry your bacon tip it’s crispy and lay out the strips on a paper towel to drain. When cool, crumble the bacon.

2. Put the mesclun, mint, oregano, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and Romano in a large bowl. Add the bacon to this, too.

3. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil and pop a coffee mug filled with water into the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Put your egg into a deep bowl or cup. When the water’s hot, pour it over your egg and set the timer for 60 seconds. This will quickly coddle your egg. Now simply crack the egg into the lemon juice and olive oil and whisk again. Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper and taste. Pour as much dressing as needed over the salad and toss. Serve right away with a bit more grated Romano on top. Yummy.