The important thing with this recipe is to use the freshest, most free-range and organic eggs you can get your hands on. The egg yolk is (effectively) cooked by the acid in the vinegar, so the quality of the eggs is vital.

First, make the dressing. This is best done in a screw-topped jar - something that used to hold jam or pickles. In the jar, put the yolk (only) of one egg. (There's a clever gadget for separating the yolk and whites of eggs - more toys for boys - or you can fiddle with the yolk in the halved eggshells.)

To the egg yolk, add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and a little finely-ground black pepper. Then add a good splash of white wine (or tarragon) vinegar. Stir well, then close the lid and shake hard - make sure the lid is firmly closed, otherwise you will have beaten egg all over the place!

Open the jar, and add plenty of high-quality olive oil. About four times the volume of the egg-and-vinegar mixture seems to be about right. Close the lid and shake hard again. If you've got this right, the dressing will be quite thick.

Then, assemble the salad. You want to use a crisp and robust kind of lettuce - Romaine or Cos for preference, although Little Gem, or even Iceberg will do in a pinch. Wash the separated leaves, shake dry and arrange in two (or more) bowls. Scrape curls of Parmesan cheese over the lettuce. Traditionally, croutons would be added, but I find this adds little, especially if you are serving this as a dish with chicken and potatoes. Pour a generous measure of the dressing over the leaves.

This salad can be used as a base for various chicken and fish dishes - I find the Blackened Chicken works particularly well, especially with Saffron Potatoes.