The Secret to Making a Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 32 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
298 Calories
22g Fat
19g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
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Caesar salad dressing was originally made with a coddled egg.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. Use pasteurized eggs if you're concerned about raw eggs consumption.

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. Always store store lettuce correctly to keep it crisp and fresh.

Ingredients

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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Caesar Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. 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.

    cut up washed lettuce leaves

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    bread cubes on a wood board

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. 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.

    toasted bread cubes

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. In a glass bowl, mash the garlic and anchovies together with a fork so that they form a paste.

    In a glass bowl, mash the garlic and anchovies together

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Combine the egg yolks with the garlic-anchovy mixture and add the lemon juice. Beat until smooth.

    Combine the egg yolks with the garlic-anchovy mixture and add the lemon juice

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. 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.

    Season the dressing to taste with Kosher salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and add oil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. 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.

    Classic Caesar Salad in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.