Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing

By Sally Cameron on March 06, 2010

Chicken & Turkey, Salads and Dressings, the daniel plan

Created by an Italian chef in Tijuana, Mexico around 1924, Caesar Salad is one of the great classic salads. Well-loved, you’ll find Caesar Salads on almost every restaurant menu. But don’t just enjoy them at a restaurant. A great Caesar can be made at home. Here is my recipe for a good and garlicky Caesar salad. It’s all about that dressing.

Caesar Salad | AFoodCentricLife.com

Crisp Romaine Leaves

Start with fresh, crisp Romaine leaves, drizzle on a creamy, garlicky homemade dressing and add fresh baked croutons from a few pieces of leftover bread, add a few wisps of Parmesan curls and that’s about it. I like to add corn kernels for a bit of a twist. Although not traditional, sometimes I’ll add other ingredients for color and visual appeal like a little finely chopped parsley, tiny diced red onion, even a few sliced grapeseed tomatoes. I think they make a traditional Caesar more interesting, but you can do as you please – goodies or not.

Great Caesar Dressing

The best part of this garlicky Caesar salad is the dressing. Nothing out of a bottle please. Get your blender out and whip up your own. Once you do, you’ll never use bottled dressing again. You can also make it by hand with a whisk and a little arm action. This dressing is thick, creamy, and garlicky so it clings nicely to crisp Romaine leaves. If it gets too thick, add a little water.

Many Caesar Salad dressing recipes use anchovy filets. I use anchovy paste in a tube. If the thought of fishy anchovies in any form makes you gag, try the tube stuff. Trust me. There is no fishy taste in the dressing.  It adds a subtle richness and depth that would be missed. But you can always skip it, it’s up to you.

Homemade Croutons

About croutons. Once you’ve made homemade croutons you’ll never be tempted to use boxed or bagged versions again. And it’s a great thing to do with those last few pieces of bread at the end of a loaf. For crunchy, golden croutons, pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Using white or sourdough bread, trim off the crusts and cut the bread into approximately one inch cubes. I use one piece of bread for each person. Mix a little olive oil with granulated garlic in a bowl and toss the bread cubes with the oil-garlic mixture. You want them lightly coated, not soaked.

Pour the bread cubes onto a metal rimmed baking sheet and toast until the croutons are golden and crunchy. You will just start to smell the garlic when they ready. They will get more crunchy as they cool.  Set aside for your salad and use after they have cooled as warm croutons will wilt your salad.  These are so good everyone will wander into the kitchen and want to snack on them before you can get the salad made, and any extra keep well…if there are any.

For gluten-free, make them with GF bread. Here is a good one!

Raw Egg Note

As Caesar Salad dressing uses raw egg yolk, use only fresh, refrigerated, clean, high quality eggs with no cracks. You can also try pasteurized eggs, but they are hard to find. This dressing makes enough for 4 servings at 2 tablespoons per person. I kept the batch small as it uses raw egg yolk. For a larger crowd, it doubles easily. For any leftovers, use within a few days to be safe.

Make it a Meal

To make this a main meal versus a side salad, add chicken or shrimp. Whether grilled, sautéed, roasted or broiled, either one is a great addition giving more sustenance to the salad.

Garlicky Caesar Salad

Crisp romaine leaves and a good garlicky dressing make for a wonderful, classic Caesar Salad. This recipe doubles easily for a crowd. It will keep 3 days in covered and refrigerated but no longer due to the raw egg yolk. You can also use pasteurized eggs.
Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Caesar, dressing, greek salad, Italian, Mexican

Equipment

  • blender

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 3-5 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 raw egg yolk
  • 1   teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste in a tube optional
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce look for no HFCS, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • water to thin if needed

Salad Greens

  • 3-4 hearts of Romaine if using mini hearts, purchase 1 per person, either whole leaf or chopped into thin pieces crosswise

Optional Garnishes

  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red onion chopped very fine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped fine – for some color
  • 8 grapeseed tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • homemade croutons
  • 3-4 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  • Place the lemon juice egg yolk, mustard, anchovy paste, garlic, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a blender container and puree on lowest speed for a few seconds to blend.
  • With the blender top on and the center top removed, slowly stream the oil into the blender until dressing is thick, creamy and emulsified. Add the Parmesan and pureed until creamy. If the dressing is to thick, add either a little more lemon juice or warm water to make it the consistency you prefer.

Notes

Dressing yield: approximately 3/4 cup, enough for 4-6 people
No Comments
  1. Shannon - March 7th, 2010

    looks absolutely delicious! beautiful photos as well.
    i actually went to the gulfstream not to long ago for the first time…it was very good. i had the scallops-yum!

  2. Janice - March 8th, 2010

    Looking at these beautiful pictures and reading about all the variations is making my mouth water! I can’t wait to make it!

  3. Michelle K - March 6th, 2011

    Yum! Is this your “healthy”mock version, or what changes make it healthier? Seems like a lot of EVOO for the healthy one.

  4. Chef Sally - March 12th, 2011

    Hi Michelle. No this is full tilt, real Caesar dressing, not my “lite” mock version. I’ll have to post that one sometime. or email me for the recipe.

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