This is another example of the rewards of culinary recycling. Of course, frying up croutons doesn't take very long, but my tortilla-chip version feels stresslessy instant. I think of it as a quick time variant, mainly because I make my Caesar with croutons of roast cubed garlicky potatoes - and very well it goes down, too. If you prefer, you could, fattoush-style, replace the tortilla chips with pita bread, which you split, toast, then break into shards. People can be awfully tiresome about anchovies (not that the rusty strips of something salty left to die on pizzas are what anchovies can truly taste of) and, anyway, they are not actually part of the original Caesar, so I haven't listed them below. However, in the interests of transparency I should tell you that I do add them to my own Quick Caesar when ransacking the kitchen to assemble this. I either mush one or two pinky brown fillets up in the dressing, or if I have some of those silvery marinated anchovies, like slim sardines, I just toss them in with the chicken.
Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk well, as you add the oils, Parmesan and lemon juice. If you're not going to add an anchovy or two, whisk in the salt. Break the crisp lettuce into bite-sized pieces and add to a salad bowl. Drop in the shredded cold chicken and mix to combine. Season with pepper, to taste. Toast the tortilla chips for a couple of minutes in an oil-less frying pan over medium heat. Give the dressing another whisk, pour it over the salad, and toss to mix. Add the tortilla chips (and some anchovies if you like) and toss again before wolfing down.
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
From NIGELLA KITCHEN by Nigella Lawson. Copyright 2010 Nigella Lawson. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.