Caesar Salad Dressing
Caesar Salad Dressing
An original Caesar Salad is simply the dressing, Parmesan cheese, young crispy Romaine lettuce and crispy croutons. Thats it – it’s that simple.
There seems to be a hundred recipes for Caesar Salad. The recipe actually comes from Mexico and was invented in 1924. It was created by restaurant owner Caesar Cardini an Italian immigrant. Much of the popularity of this world famous salad came from the salad dressing being made at the table for dinner guests in restaurants.
It’s an easy recipe to replicate and anyone can make it. Give it a try. I often use when I need a great lunch dish for a few people and it only takes a few ingredients and can be made in a few minutes. Try a store bought roast chicken, iceberg lettuce, chopped celery, cucumber, tomato and a few small boiled potatoes cut up. But you decide what you want.
You can easily elevate this recipe by using only the hearts of the Romain’s crispy pale leaves.
Caesar Salad Dressing
- 1 large egg must be room temperature
- 1 clove garlic peeled and crushed
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp dry English mustard
- 4 anchovy filets finely chopped or use anchovy paste.
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1.5 dl olive oil plus a little extra for frying the croutons
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or to taste
- 4-5 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 large romain lettuce washed and torn into pieces.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 slices hearty Italian bread country style loaf, crusts removed and cubed for croutons.
- This recipe can be made in 2 ways, in a bowl, (best done with a whisk not an electric hand mixer) or in a mini food processor or blender. I give them both here.
Made in a bowl
- In a bowl: Place the (room temperature) egg in a bowl with the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard and whisk together.
- Crush the garlic clove into a paste and add to the dressing.
- Add the finely chopped anchovies or anchovy paste and whisk them in.
- Now beating all the time, whisk in the olive oil in a fine stream into the egg and flavorings to create an emulsion (like you are making mayonnaise) until you have used all the oil. You can place a towel under your bowl to help hold it steady while your whisking so you have both hands free.
- While you are doing this the anchovies and garlic should break up and become part of the dressing.
- You should wind up with a rather thick dressing almost a mayonnaise consistency.
- Season with a bit of salt (be careful the anchovies have a good deal of salt in them) and a very good grating of fresh black pepper.
- Now taste it. Whisk in the lemon juice taking care not to add too much. You do want to some sharpness in the dressing. Add a bit more if you like it tart.
- You want a thick dressing that will stick to the romaine leaves and have a creamy consistency and not collect in the bottom of the bowl. If it is too thick you can thin it with a bit of warm water.
- I use this method always, the blender has a tendency to make the dressing too thick as it runs at such a high speed, but it is easily thinned with a few drops of warm water...
Made with a mini food processor or blender
- In a blender: You need an old fashion blender for this, not a food processor. Place the egg (room temperature), red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, anchovies, garlic in the blender. Blend until smooth
- Now with the motor running pour in the olive oil in a thin stream as for mayonnaise. If you are using a mini food processor, made about 5 individual additions blending well to make it emulsify.
- When all the oil is used up you should have a very thick dressing in the blender. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Now taste it. Season with a bit of salt (be careful the anchovies have a good deal of salt in them) and a very good grating of fresh black pepper.
- Whisk in the lemon juice taking care not to add too much. You do want to some sharpness in the dressing. Add a bit more if you like it tart.
- This should still be quite thick so whisk in a bit of warm water a small spoon at a time until it thins out a bit.
- You want a think dressing that will stick to the romaine leaves, have a creamy consistency but not collect in the bottom of the bowl.
Making the croutons
- Take the 2 slices of Italian bread (you will want about 3 dl or a generous cup of croutons), and cut them up into small cubes about 1 cm x 1 cm (1/2 inch). Place 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a shallow frying pan, when hot add the bread cubes and saute until golden brown.
Assembling the salad
- Have the romaine lettuce washed and dried, tear the romaine lettuce up with your hands, each piece should be just large enough to get in your mouth without having to use a knife. Use the smaller delicate heart leaves whole as they are. In the serving bowl, pour over the dressing and toss. Take the Parmesan and sprinkle over the top of the salad and toss again. Then add the croutons last and give a final toss.