Caesar Salad Dressing
This version of Caesar Salad dressing, which hails from the 1940s, is considered one of the more acceptable close-to-authentic versions. It's easy to make -- just assemble it all in a blender, and whiz. Make up to a day ahead and store in fridge. For a version that is far lower in fat, but still faithful to the authentic flavour profile, see our recipe for Caesar Salad Dressing (low-fat).
- In a food processor or in a blender, you can just add all the ingredients at once (no need to mince the garlic) and press "whiz."
- When you are ready to assemble the salad, wash and dry the romaine lettuce leaves. Toss with about 3/4 of the salad dressing. Reserve the other 1/4, and use only if needed.
- Then, toss with the cheese, black pepper and croutons, and serve.
No one makes the original 1924 Caesar Salad anymore -- because everyone has long since come to expect it to have more ingredients than were first in it. The original recipe from Mexico didn't have anchovies, and it didn't use Parmesan Cheese -- it used Romano. Instead of Parmesan, you can use Romano or Grana Padano. Romano gives it a gutsier, sharper taste. This is one of those times when, if you are able to produce freshly ground black pepper, you certainly will want to. Feel free to use a salt substitute or omit the salt entirely, depending upon the tastebuds of your guests. You can prepare the dressing in advance, even a day ahead, and store it in the fridge. You can make this in a bowl with a whisk. If you do, whisk together the egg yolk, garlic (mince it first), mustard, salt, lemon juice and anchovies. Then, drizzle the oil in slowly. You must do it very gradually, or the dressing will not "emulsify" and thicken properly. As the emulsification takes place, you can pour it in more quickly. Instead of anchovy fillets, you can use 2 tablespoons of anchovy paste or 3 tablespoons of capers (rinsed.) Feel free also to just chuck an uncoddled egg yolk in instead of a coddled one: the low temperatures reached in coddling doesn't make the egg yolk any safer. Note on raw egg: If you are feeding someone who is in an at-risk group or are in such a group yourself, or have any reason to doubt the safety of the eggs you are using or to doubt that they arrived in your hands with the safe chain of handling intact, then you may wish to take safety precautions. You could purchase pasteurized eggs. Or, you can use 2 tablespoons of egg from a carton, which will be pasteurized. Or, follow one of the techniques in our entry on egg yolk to render the raw egg yolk safe.
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