How to Make Caesar Salad ♥

The first CaesarFor cooks, the possibilities for virgin culinary experiences are endless. The first roast chicken, the handmade pasta, the first pizza at home, the first pie crust -- and now for me, the first Caesar salad.

For all the times I've raved about vegetables with anchovies (asparagus with anchovies? cauliflower with anchovies? roasted peppers with anchovies? slow-roasted tomato and lamb stew with anchovies?) it's no surprise that this salad left me half speechless, with strength only to beg, "Will you pass the salad, please?" All that goodness in 15 minutes flat. Call me Caesar's bride.

I kinda sorta almost followed a recipe or two, well except that they called for up to a cup of olive oil and I used only two tablespoons -- still, this felt perfectly balanced to me, maybe a tad tart but not unpleasingly.



FROM THE ARCHIVES The Recipe Box as a few green salads and homemade salad dressings. But now that seminal Caesar has happened, can seminal Green Goddess be far behind?

FROM GREAT FOOD BLOGS
The Accidental Hedonist ... the History of Caesar Salad
Fresh Approach Cooking ... Caesar Salad
Traveler's Lunchbox ... Dragon's Breath Caesar Salad



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CAESAR SALAD

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4 (and dressing leftover for another evening)

2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 egg (if you don't eat raw eggs, don't!)
1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
4 anchovies (don't even think about skipping these! without anchovies it might be salad dressing but it's not Caesar salad dressing)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Salt if needed

Romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
A one-inch square of Parmesan, grated (enough for 4 - 6 salads)
Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the olive oil til smooth. If you can, drizzle the dressing through the opening, letting it incorporate slowly. (I used the food processor attachment of an immersion blender so just tossed it in all at once.) Taste and season.

Toss greens with 1 tablespoon dressing per serving. Top with Parmesan and toss again. Top with pepper and serve immediately.

9 comments:

Must try! Already saved to del.icio.us!

Dear Caesar's wife, Lovely salad most worthy of a Caesar!

Have you tried using anchovy paste (the kind that comes in a tube) in place of anchovies? Sometimes it's a good alternative for folks who are squeamish about anchovies. And you're right, you absolutely cannot make Caesar salad without the anchovy flavor! Thanks for this lovely recipe.

I am so grateful to Kalyn for having me led over here, what a great food blog, I get vegetable cravings for breakfast already!
Had to chuckle about the idea of adding up to one cup of olive oil to that wonderful spinach salad. As much as I love olive oil, I'm with you, less is more here. :-)
Looking forward to future visits,
Merisi

I *love* Caesar salads but have been too afraid to try making it at home. Your's sounds wonderful!

I am definitely having this for lunch tomorrow, thanks!

I thought I would share my version, for readers who are vegetarians and also for those who want to try a version closer to the "original" which was reportedly anchovy-free:

Use red wine vinegar instead of cider vinegar
add 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
increase olive oil up to 1/2 cup (to your own liking)
add 1/4 cup grated parmesan
omit anchovies and egg

Prepare as in the Veggie Venture recipe, except after oil is blended in blend in the parmesan.

I "fried" parmesan slivers in a cast iron pan until they are crunchy and tossed a few on top of the dressed greens for crunch.

My husband (a meat eater) couldn't tell this was anchovy-less!

Seashell

Fabulous dressing!! Loved it. From now on this is going to be my standard caesar dressing. (I thought I had eggs in the house, but didn't, so I used a couple tsp. of water instead...not ideal, but it was fine and next time with the egg it will be even better.)

To really make this "traditional", try making it by hand. It's fun to see how all the ingredients come together.

First, mash the garlic, chopped, with the anchovies and a pinch of salt. Then, add the egg and beat in lemon juice from 1/2 a large lemon with a fork. The egg proteins break up and you get a wonderfully smelling and looking yellow mass of delicious. Add mustard, then add oil at a drizzle while whisking in with a fork. You can use more or less oil depending on the thickness desired. Season with parmesan and pepper after tossing with lettuce.

I do not use vinegar, but prefer using lemon juice, and leave out anchovies sometimes - still delicious. The lemon keeps the egg from going bad and I have kept the dressing for up to 3 days in the fridge.

I can whip this up in about 5 minutes and love how fresh it tastes. I will never buy caesar dressing again.

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