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The Best Caesar Salad Starts with a Creamy Dressing

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Caesar Salad

Prep 12 mins  Cook 8 mins  Eat 12 mins

What makes this Caesar Salad “the best” is the creamy emulsified dressing and grated parmesan/romano cheese.  Learn to make this classic Caesar salad dressing, and it will take you only 12 minutes to throw together this beloved Italian or Mexican? salad on a regular basis.  Why Mexican? Because the first Caesar Salad was reported to have been invented at Caesar’s Restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.  But, because the Caesar Salad contains parmesan cheese, we Americans often eat a Caesar Salad with pasta or at an Italian restaurant.

Make fresh Caesar Salad dressing in only 12 minutes.

I am going to teach you to make a classic Caesar dressing that is super easy.  And no, we are not cheating by starting with jarred mayonnaise as many Caesar Salad recipes do.  Once you learn the technique for creating an emulsion, I promise you will want to repeat this recipe on a regular basis and you will be able to throw it together in only 12 minutes.  My cheat is using a small food processor, which makes the creamiest dressing…or you could use a blender.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Ingredients for Caesar Salad.

Here are the ingredients you will need. Most of them will be in your pantry, making this an easy weeknight recipe.  Good extra virgin olive oil,  Worcestershire sauce, Balsamic vinegar, Dijon Mustard, a large garlic clove, 1/2 a lemon, anchovies, grated parmesan cheese and romaine lettuce.  Unless you have a total aversion to anchovies, do not leave them out.  In fact, you may want to add more, depending on your taste. Don’t use shredded parmesan here.  You want it grated, so it mixes into the dressing that will flavor every leaf of lettuce you bite into.  I prefer the plastic tub of the parmesan and romano combo pictured here from Trader Joe’s.  The romano is softer than parmesan and the combo is perfect for a Caesar Salad.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Egg is placed in ice bath after cooking.

In the original Caesar Salad dressing, an egg is coddled (for one minute), but I prefer my egg cooked longer, so before you begin, place an egg in about 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. (Sometimes I put the egg in the pasta water once it has bubbles in it.)  Turn heat on high. Cook for 8 minutes and then immediately submerge the egg in an ice bath to stop the cooking.  This amount of time, usually cooks the egg white and makes the yolk nice and jammy.  However, if your egg is cooked less or more, no worries.  Continue on.  Having the egg white cooked makes the Caesar Salad dressing thicker.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Submerge bite size romaine leaves in cold water of a salad spinner.

While the egg is cooking, get everything else ready.  Cut the romaine lettuce leaves with a sharp Chef’s knife.  I can do this in one minute by taking the leaves off the head and slice crosswise at the bottom of the leaves.  Then as the leaves are wider, slice down the center of the rib and slice or tear into pieces.   Submerge the lettuce leaves in cold water to clean them and soak for a minute or two.  I have a nice salad spinner which makes quick work of drying the leaves with a nice sheen of water still on them.  Chill in the refrigerator if you have time.

Begin making the Caesar Salad dressing.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Process the garlic clove first, then the anchovies.

In a small food processor, process the peeled clove of garlic first, then add the anchovies.  Don’t leave out those anchovies! They add so much flavor.  Some call it umami.  I usually use two anchovies, but you could use five or six, if you want to go for it!

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard are added.

Add juice of 1/2 a good sized lemon, 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, one Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar and a generous teaspoon of Dijon mustard.  I don’t measure, just eyeball the amounts.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

The jammy egg is perfect for making a thick Caesar Salad dressing.

Then comes the jammy egg. Remove it from it’s shell and add to the processor bowl.  Now the magic really begins.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Caesar Salad Dressing becomes creamy as it is emulsified.

What is an emulsion?

What makes an authentic Caesar Salad special is the emulsion. It’s the process of combining the oil and vinegar (or lemon juice) using an egg yolk as the emulsifier.   The egg yolk holds the droplets of oil in suspension, so the liquid doesn’t separate the way an oil and vinegar dressing does. Once you learn to make an emulsion, you can make mayonnaise, a garlic aioli sauce, a Hollandaise sauce and more, as if it’s nothing!  It’s one of those magic cooking techniques and I demystify it right here.

We are now ready to create the emulsion after adding our jammy egg (or however you cooked it) to the other Caesar dressing ingredients.  The food processor does all the work instead of you having to whisk the ingredients furiously together by hand.  In the first picture, I have simply processed the egg with the previous ingredients.  In picture #2, I drizzle in (or pour in) more than a Tablespoon of olive oil. (just eyeball, don’t measure.) Then I process for a few seconds. I repeat a few more times. Picture 3 shows how the dressing is getting creamier and by picture 4, the Casesar Salad dressing looks really creamy and yummy.  I added the olive oil 5 times in total.   Why didn’t I add all the olive oil at once?  Because you want the egg yolk to emulsify a little each time.  If you add the olive oil to quickly to the liquid, it may break (or separate, like an oil and vinegar dressing).  Trust me, this method is foolproof and it goes really fast, so give it a try!  Once you get the hang of it, it takes only a minute total.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

The Caesar dressing is ready to be tossed with the parmesan and lettuce leaves.

Here’s how my Caesar Dressing looked after five rounds of adding the olive oil and processing a few seconds. Magic, right?

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Add the dressing and parmesan to the romaine.

Now all you have to do is toss the lettuce with dresssing and parmesan cheese.  Here is where you can make a big difference in the results.  DON’T OVERTOSS!  Most people toss a salad until the lettuce leaves are wilted and dead looking.  Your lettuce leaves are crisp from soaking in cold water and chilling. Keep them that way.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Toss the salad 3 times and no more!

Now simply toss the whole thing about 3 times, so the leaves remain crisp and the dressing is somewhat distributed.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Serve the Caesar Salad in individual bowls.

Serve in individual bowls.  Add more dressing and parmesan to each bowl if you like.

Where are the croutons?

Where are the beloved croutons?  I don’t add them every time.  When I’m serving the salad with pasta or a sandwich, I’m getting my fill of carbs.  So I take a pass on the croutons.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Croutons take 5 minutes in the toaster oven.

However, when I do add the croutons, I take out some leftover cubed bread from my freezer and toss with olive oil, minced garlic and fresh oregano from my garden and pop it in the toaster oven for 5 minutes or so, to toast them.  If I really want to get fancy, I cut up a fresh baguette and either cube or make some garlic toasts in the oven.

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Caesar Salad with Croutons.

Add the croutons to each bowl.  They should remain toasty crisp.  And don’t even think of adding those packaged croutons from the supermarket to your beautiful Caesar Salad.

Now make this beautiful salad again and again and impress your guests and family.

Print this Recipe.

Caesar Salad

This recipe will make a large Caesar Salad for a group. If you are cooking for two, make the dressing and save it in a container for subsequent meals to toss with fresh lettuce leaves. This authentic Caesar dressing is the real deal. Using a small food processor or blender makes it super creamy along with cooking a jammy or cooked egg. Once you learn the technique for creating an emulsion, you will want to make it again and again.

1 large head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
Croutons
2 cups leftover bread, cubed
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, oregano, basil)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Dressing
1 large egg
1 large clove garlic
2–5 anchovies, packed in oil
1/2 large lemon, juiced
1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper ( to taste)

1. Before you begin, place an egg in about 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Turn heat on high. Cook for 8 minutes and then immediately submerge the egg in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Hopefully, this will yield a jammy egg, but don’t worry if it is cooked more or less.

2. While the egg is cooking, get everything else ready. To make the croutons, place the cubed bread, minced garlic and herbs on a tray. Drizzle with olive oil, mix and place in a 350° toaster oven for 5 minutes or so. Flip over the croutons half way through.

3. Cut the romaine lettuce leaves with a sharp Chef’s knife. Take the leaves off the head and slice 1″ pieces crosswise at the bottom of the head. As the leaves become wider, cut along the rib and slice or tear into pieces. Submerge the lettuce leaves in cold water to clean them and soak for a minute, then drain or spin in a salad spinner. Refrigerate until serving.

4. In a small food processor or blender, process the peeled clove of garlic first, then add the anchovies and process. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard.

5. Then add the jammy egg. Spoon it from it’s shell and add to the processor bowl.  Now the magic really begins.

6. 1. Process the egg with the previous ingredients.  2, Drizzle in (or pour in) more than a Tablespoon of olive oil. (just eyeball, don’t measure.) Then process for a few seconds. Repeat until all the olive oil is used. I added the olive oil 5 times in total.   Why didn’t I add all the olive oil at once?  Because you want the egg yolk to emulsify a little each time.  If you add the olive oil too quickly to the liquid, it may break (or separate, like an oil and vinegar dressing).  This method is foolproof and it goes really fast. Once you get the hang of it, it takes only a minute total.

7. Toss the lettuce with dressing, parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.  Here is where you can make a big difference in the results.  DON’T OVERTOSS! Toss 3 times and serve in individual bowls. Top with croutons.

Servings: 8   -426 calories per serving

Print Recipe
4.50 from 2 votes

Caesar Salad

This recipe will make a large Caesar Salad for a group. If you are cooking for two, make the dressing and save it in a container for subsequent meals to toss with fresh lettuce leaves. This authentic Caesar dressing is the real deal. Using a small food processor or blender makes it super creamy along with cooking a jammy or cooked egg. Once you learn the technique for creating an emulsion, you will want to repeat this recipe again and again.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 426kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated

Croutons

  • 2 cups leftover bread cubed
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh herbs chopped (parsley, oregano, basil)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Dressing

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2--5 anchovies packed in oil
  • 1/2 large lemon juiced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Before you begin, place an egg in about 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Turn heat on high. Cook for 8 minutes and then immediately submerge the egg in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Hopefully, this will yield a jammy egg, but don't worry if it is cooked more or less.
  • While the egg is cooking, get everything else ready. To make the croutons, place the cubed bread, minced garlic and herbs on a tray. Drizzle with olive oil, mix and place in a 350° toaster oven for 5 minutes or so. Flip over the croutons half way through.
  • Cut the romaine lettuce leaves with a sharp Chef's knife. Take the leaves off the head and slice 1" pieces crosswise at the bottom of the head. As the leaves become wider, cut along the rib and slice or tear into pieces. Submerge the lettuce leaves in cold water to clean them and soak for a minute, then drain or spin in a salad spinner. Refrigerate until serving.
  • In a small food processor or blender, process the peeled clove of garlic first, then add the anchovies and process. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard.
  • Then add the jammy egg. Spoon it from it's shell and add to the processor bowl.  Now the magic really begins.
  • 1. Process the egg with the previous ingredients.  2, Drizzle in (or pour in) more than a Tablespoon of olive oil. (just eyeball, don't measure.) Then process for a few seconds. Repeat until all the olive oil is used. I added the olive oil 5 times in total.   Why didn't I add all the olive oil at once?  Because you want the egg yolk to emulsify a little each time.  If you add the olive oil too quickly to the liquid, it may break (or separate, like an oil and vinegar dressing).  This method is foolproof and it goes really fast. Once you get the hang of it, it takes only a minute total.
  • Toss the lettuce with dressing, parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.  Here is where you can make a big difference in the results.  DON'T OVERTOSS! Toss 3 times and serve in individual bowls. Top with croutons.
  • ENJOY THIS RECIPE FROM FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal

Caesar Salad recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.comdiv>


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