Canlis Salad

After all the rich food of the past few weeks a simple green salad looks and tastes wonderful. This is one of my favorites because the flavors compliment each other so well. The fresh lemon juice in the dressing provides tartness to balance the bacon and grated parmesan. And the fresh, crisp romaine makes me feel that I’m once again eating something healthy. This was the signature salad at Canlis Restaurant, an ultra high end spot that was at it’s height here in Portland in the 1960’s and 70’s. We didn’t have a lot of skyscrapers back then and this beautiful restaurant at the top of the Hilton Hotel had a stunning view of the city. This was a special occasion destination.

So special, in fact, that my parents wanted to take me there to celebrate my 21st birthday. Keep in mind that this was a long time ago. My birthday is in January and the weather was horrible but we had a big car and made it safely to the restaurant. Despite the weather it was open and there were several other diners there, no more than two or three tables. But…in spite of the blizzard and the almost empty restaurant they turned us away because I was wearing a pant suit. I didn’t meet their requirement that women wear dresses. We had to go someplace else to have dinner.
We’ve come a long way, Baby.
Canlis Salad
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 2 peeled tomatoes
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg, coddled
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated cheese
  • 1 cup croutons

To make the dressing combine oilive oil, lemon juice, pepper, mint and oregano. Whisk in coddled egg until frothy and well blended.

Combine lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, parmesan cheese and bacon in a large salad bowl. Just before serving add croutons and dressing. Simple and so delicious.


  1. Mary says

    How sad! I’ve always thought there was something un-American about the Hilton. Dogs, rats, bums….how dare they do that to you? I might not like the Hilton but your recipe sounds awfully good. A must try.

  2. Barbara Bakes says

    I remember not being able to wear pants to school even in the winter. It’s so nice things have changed! The salad looks perfect for post holiday meals!

  3. Debbie says

    That’s too funny! Pant suit. How quickly we forget those things.
    The salad sounds great…I’m with you, something light after all this eating is just the thing.

  4. CIELO says

    Oh that salad looks good, and I love your white dishes… great presentation too!

    Wishing you and yours a blessed 2009!


  5. Paula says

    Oh, I could really go for a wonderful salad today. I like how the egg is coddled in this. And … they turned you away because of a pantsuit??!!! We sure have come a long way!

  6. Cathy says

    Hi all – Life really has changed, hasn’t it? And in so many ways for the better. I feel this keenly now as we await the inauguration of our new president. Happy day!

    And thanks so much for visiting. Have a very happy New Year.

  7. noble pig says

    Oh that’s a bummer…now I think you can go anywhere almost naked…not sure if that’s good…but at least you would have gotten in. The salad sounds like a refreshing treat right about now.

  8. Pam says

    I can’t believe they turned you away. I hope you had a tasty meal that night anyway. The salad is wonderful – I love how simple yet flavorful it is.

    Happy New Year Cathy.

  9. Malar Gandhi says

    Salad looks fab’ very inviting….love the color! Yeah I agree….after cooking and feasting so much, I too made plain veg stir-frie and salads lately…

  10. Mari at Once Upon a Plate says

    Thank you for the reminder of how far we’ve come Cathy.

    The salad looks wonderful. I crave colorful food, especially in the winter, this is one I would like to try.

  11. Becky says

    Your salad looks wonderful and I am anxious to try it. I’ve been craving a good salad.

    Oh how well I remember the days of having to wear dresses to school, no matter what the weather. In my junior year I started wearing pants anyway. Eventually they changed the rules. Thank goodness we’ve come a long way, baby!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>