Caesar salad is usually my choice of salad when we go out to eat. At home, I’ve tried to buy Caesar dressing in a jar but it never seems to taste quite right. This Caesar dressing recipe is the way to go for a tasty salad.
What is Caesar Salad?
Caesar salad dressing comes from Caesar’s restaurant in Tijuana Mexico. The original recipe is attributed to Caesar Cardini, the restauranteur in the 1920’s. The recipe was developed supposedly because the restaurant was so busy one July 4th that they were running out of food. Cardini had to use what was available and he came up with this dressing for Romaine lettuce.
Today, most restaurants serve some type of Caesar salad as an option other than a garden salad. I always think of a Caesar with pizza or Italian pasta.
Raw egg conundrum
There’s an egg in this recipe and salmonella can occur in uncooked eggs but that likelihood is very minimal, like less than 0.02 percent. The government gives this general warning. “Although anyone can get Salmonella food poisoning, older adults, infants, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk for serious illness. A person infected with Salmonella usually has a fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea beginning 12 to 72 hours after consuming a contaminated food or beverage.” Here are several ways to minimize the salmonella bacteria.
Coddle the eggs
I coddled the egg that I used to make the Caesar dressing. Take the egg out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Bring 2 inches of water in a medium sized sauce pan up to 165° to 180° F. Lower the egg into the water with a small kitchen spider or slotted spoon. Keep the egg in the hot water for one minute, then remove and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking, (about 2 minutes). This will heat up the yolk and reduce the risk of bacteria.
Use pasteurized eggs
If you’d rather not be bothered doing the coddling, you can buy pasteurized eggs. I’ve also heard of people smashing up hard boiled yolks and mixing them in the dressing. That method is untested by me.
Heat the dressing
One other method I have read about but have not tried, is to place the finished dressing into a small saucepan and gently bring the temperature up to 160°, checking the temperature with an instant read thermometer. I’m not sure what this would do to the texture of the dressing but it would probably be fine to do.
Here’s a link to The Incredible Egg.org that has tons of information about eggs if you are concerned about their safety.
Simple Steps to Making the Dressing
Making the dressing is really easy. Coddle your egg. Grate the parmesan. Peel and coarse chop the garlic. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until the anchovies are totally chopped, (dissolved). The blender will throw up the contents onto the side of the jar and you can tell when there are no more pieces of anchovy. This will take about a minute at medium high speed. A small food processor could also be used.
You should use the dressing within 3 days.
A good brand of mayonnaise can be substituted for the egg and the olive oil, since mayonnaise is pretty much eggs and oil. Use 3/4 to 1 cup of mayonnaise and omit the egg and oil.
Anchovies are what make the dressing briny flavored and full of umami. If you don’t want to use anchovies, another teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce will add more umami. Asian fish sauce can be used or Better than Bouillon fish base. Also, for the salty flavor, capers could be added.
Here are some more salad ideas you may like:
- Smoked Salmon and Egg Salad
- Shaved Radish Salad with Feta Cheese
- Kale and Fennel Salad
- Peach Cucumber Salad
- Fresh Greens Salad with Basil and Mint Vinaigrette
This Restaurant Style Caesar dressing recipe is just like you’d get at a good restaurant. It’s tangy, lemony, and a bit salty from the Parmesan cheese and really good.
Restaurant Style Caesar Dressing Recipe
- 1 2 oz. can Anchovy filets, like King Oscar
- 2 garlic cloves coarse chopped
- 1 coddled egg (or pasteurized egg)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard seed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- romaine lettace, coarse ribs removed then chopped
- kosher salt as needed
- Put anchovies and their oil, garlic, egg, lemon juice, ground mustard, grated parmesan, and pepper into a blender. Start the blender on medium speed and then add the olive oil through the fill cap.
- Blend until fully emulsified which will take 30 to 60 seconds. All the anchovies should be dissolved into the oil.
- Remove the blender lid and taste. You may want to add a bit of salt, more Worcestershire or lemon juice to taste. Pour the finished dressing into an appropriate sized lidded jar.
- In a large bowl, place lettuce, and croutons. Toss with 3 or 4 tablespoons of caesar dressing, adding more if desired. Serve and garnish with additional parmesan cheese.
- Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or it can be frozen..
- Nutrition information is for the dressing only. Add 50 calories for lettuce and 1/4 cup of croutons. And, 210 calories for 6 ounces of chicken.
- Yes, this recipe uses the whole can of anchovies and the oil.