The Secret to Making a Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad
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  • Total: 32 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 7 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
298 Calories
22g Fat
19g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 298
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 230mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 9g
Calcium 159mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Legend has it that the Caesar salad originated at Caesar's Restaurant in Tijuana in 1924. For whatever reason, this story is the subject of controversy, and it's not altogether clear why. It had to originate somewhere, and a restaurant called Caesar's seems as likely a place as any.

Caesar salad dressing was originally made with a coddled egg. But doing it this way is just borrowing trouble. For one thing, it's an extra step. But also, if you overcook the egg, you'll have trouble emulsifying the dressing. It's easier to use raw egg yolks, and since that's the way most Caesar salads are made these days, it'll turn out like what you're probably accustomed to.

(By all means, use pasteurized eggs if you're concerned about raw eggs.)

The real key with a Caesar salad is to make the dressing immediately before you serve it. If you let the dressing sit, it can separate. Also, nothing will sink a Caesar salad like limp, wilted lettuce. For tips on keeping your lettuce crisp and fresh, see How to Store Lettuce.

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1 small baguette or small loaf of crusty bread
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 oz anchovy fillets
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Separate the lettuce leaves, wash and thoroughly dry them, then cut them into bite-sized pieces and refrigerate them in a colander (or the basket of a salad spinner), covered with a wet paper towel.

  2. Trim the crusts from the bread and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. You want about 2 cups of bread cubes.

  3. Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and heat for another minute. Add the bread cubes and sauté until crispy and golden. Remove the bread and drain it on paper towels.

  4. In a glass bowl, mash the garlic and anchovies together with a fork so that they form a paste. Combine the egg yolks with the garlic-anchovy mixture and add the lemon juice. Beat until smooth.

  5. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil while whisking continuously. Season the dressing to taste with Kosher salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Add half the grated cheese.

  6. Transfer the chilled lettuce to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the leaves and toss until coated. Add the croutons and toss again. Plate the salad and serve it immediately, so that the croutons don't get soggy. Top with the remaining cheese.