Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: None
If you walk into any Italian restaurant, chances are that you will be offered a Caesar Salad. This salad is a classic offering that combines savory garlic flavor with the delicious textures of Romaine lettuce and crispy croutons. But did you know that creating a Caesar Salad at home is incredibly quick and easy? You don’t have to wait until you go out to dinner to enjoy the rich tanginess of Caesar Salad.
Containing very basic pantry ingredients, Caesar Salad uses items that you most likely already have on hand. This recipe is a great one for novice cooks, as it uses techniques that are nothing more than measuring, washing and tearing lettuce, and tossing a salad. Even a very small child can learn the basics of creating this salad.
Of course, as with any recipe, you can dress it up and make it fancier. You can use freshly grated Parmesan cheese or the cheap Kraft powdery version. You can use a whisk and a bowl to combine the dressing ingredients or just put them all in a jar and shake it vigorously for a few minutes. You can use store-bought Caesar salad croutons or make your own homemade croutons. To make a meal of this salad, top it with grilled or fried chicken strips or a generous serving of bacon. Caesar salad allows you the freedom to adapt to whatever mood you’re feeling for the day.
While the salad itself will eventually dissolve into a puddle of limp lettuce leaves if you make it too far ahead of when you want to eat it, the components themselves can be created ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Mix up the dressing and store it in the fridge in a tightly capped Mason jar.
Rinse and tear the lettuce and keep it also in the fridge in a zip-top storage bag. Croutons can likewise be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container, or you can just use purchased croutons. Just before you’re ready to serve this delicious salad, remove everything from their containers, toss the salad, and top with croutons.
The originator of Caesar salad used raw eggs in his recipe. This was back during the 1920s before people understood food safety and bacterial contamination like they do today. For this reason, our recipe features mayonnaise in place of the raw egg.
Mayo is made from eggs and lemon juice, and commercial mayonnaise is produced with high product safety standards, so it’s a flavorful, safe substitution in this recipe. If you want to be more authentic, you can purchase pasteurized raw eggs that will be safe to consume uncooked in the salad recipe.
The one ingredient in this recipe that might give you pause is the anchovy paste. The original inventor of Caesar salad, Caesar Cardini, did not initially include anchovies. However, many chefs swear that the secret to the perfect, savory, smoky Caesar salad flavor is anchovies. If the idea of fish in your salad gives you pause, feel free to omit that portion of the recipe. You can still serve a delicious Caesar salad with no anchovies included.
Table of Contents
Caesar Salad Instructions
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (substitute one pasteurized raw egg if desired)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (optional)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into small bits
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Combine all of the ingredients except for the lettuce, croutons, and Parmesan cheese.
You can whisk them all together in a bowl or you can put the ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake vigorously. If you opt for the jar, be sure that the jar is twice as big as the volume of the ingredients so that there is plenty of space for the ingredients to mix together as you shake it.
Step 2: Place your lettuce in a salad bowl and drizzle the dressing over the lettuce, tossing it to coat the leaves using salad tongs.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over all of the salad and top with the croutons. Serve it immediately.
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.