Bokkom Caesar Salad

Do you know the history of the famous Caesar Salad? The creation of Cesare Cardini, an Italian owning Caesar’s Restaurant on Avenida Revolución in Tijuana, Mexico. He made the salad with what was on hand when supplies started to ran out on a busy 4th of July service. The flair was in the tableside preparation of the salad and it became very popular. Read more.

The Cape Bokkom Salad was one of the signature dishes of Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant since it opened its doors in 2010. Chef Eric Bulpitt who joined the restaurant mid 2018, gave this signature dish a classic Caesar interpretation and this delicious salad is more popular than ever.

Try making this version at home. It is delightful as a side and just as spectacular on its own with a glass of 2020 La Motte Sauvignon Blanc.

Please note: The tomatoes in this recipe are slow-dried in the oven and take 8 hours to prepare – this can be done in advance. If you opt to dry your own Harders to make bokkoms, you will need to also allow for drying time ahead.

Bokkom Caesar Salad Recipe


1 clove garlic
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1 C (250 ml) grated Grana Padano cheese
1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 ml) Nori Powder
2 Tbsp (15 ml) capers, finely diced
300 ml oil (grapeseed oil or a delicate olive oil)
salt and black pepper to taste

Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, mustard and capers in a bowl.

Whisk and add the oil a little at a time until emulsified and incorporated.

Season with salt and pepper and adjust with a touch of water, only a little bit at a time until you reach the desired thickness.

Oven Dried Tomatoes

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) thyme, picked
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon zest
½ tsp (2,5 ml) cracked black pepper
1 tsp (5 ml) Maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 60 ºC.

Add the oil, thyme, zest, pepper and salt into a bowl and mix. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Spread out onto a baking tray and place into the oven to dry for 8 hours.

Bokkom Floss

5 bokkoms
1 sheet of nori

To prepare bokkoms in the traditional manner, layer freshly caught and gutted haarders in a large wooden vat and generously sprinkle each layer with coarse salt. Leave the fish to pickle in the salt for 24 hours, before hanging them out to dry on open racks.

They will take up to a week to dry, depending on the size of the fish and the weather.

(Like most dried fish worldwide, bokkoms have a very strong taste and should be soaked in cold water before use. Alternatively purchase bokkoms already pre-prepared.)

Peel and clean the bokkoms very well, place into the oven and dry for 8 hours at 60 ºC.

Toast the nori in the oven at 180 °C for 3 – 4 minutes.

Place both bokkoms and nori in a food processor and blitz to form a powder.

To Assemble

1 x 200 g packet cos lettuce, washed and separated
1 x 180 g packet mixed garden herbs and leaves
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced

Add the cos lettuce and mixed leaves to a serving dish. Add the dried tomatoes and avocado cubes and gently toss. Drizzle the dressing over the leaves. Sprinkle the bokkom floss last and serve immediately.