Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad

I was 23 years old the first time I ever tasted a Caesar salad. Crazy right? I was a cocktail waitress for the Sun Valley Company (Idaho) and I was working at the ice show. While my co-workers and I were in the back kitchen waiting for our shift to start, there in front of us, was a massive bowl of a freshly tossed Caesar salad. The chef told us we could help ourselves and boy did we ever!! I loved it so much I think I had 2-3 servings that first night. There was just something so special about the crisp lettuce, tangy dressing, garlicky croutons, and salty Parmesan that I just couldn’t get enough of this amazing salad. I was so excited to work ice shows after that! I finally found a recipe that tastes like that Caesar salad I first had so many years ago (24 to be exact). Of course, it’s a Cook’s Illustrated recipe from my cooking bible, The New Best Recipe (revised edition) by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. I liked that the recipe coddled the egg before using it because it made the yolk a little thicker which made the dressing have a really nice consistency. I also loved that they kept the recipe simple and fun to make. The garlic-infused croutons were perfect and the Caesar dressing was awesome. I made the salad using whole romaine hearts because we like it like that but feel free to cut the romaine up into bite-sized pieces if you prefer. We all thought it was a super tasty salad that paired nicely with the creamy mashed potatoes and the Chicken Thighs with Blistered Tomatoes in a Lemon-Wine Sauce I served it with. This Caesar salad will most definitely be a regular on my dining table from now on.

Classic Caesar Salad

How to Make a Classic Caesar Salad

Make the croutons by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

While the oven is preheating, make the garlic-infused olive oil by adding the minced garlic to the oil and allowing it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine sieve.

Classic Caesar Salad

Toss the garlic-infused oil with the cubes of bread then season well with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Toss very well until evenly coated. Pour onto the baking sheet then place into the oven and bake, flipping with a spatula occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Classic Caesar Salad

Make the dressing by heating 2 inches of water in a small saucepan over high heat. Once the water is boiling, place the egg in the water using a slotted spoon. Cook for 45 seconds then remove. As soon as the egg is cool enough, crack the egg open; reserve the yolk into a bowl and discard the whites (or save it for another recipe). Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, anchovy paste, and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste, to the yolk. Whisk until very well combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a slow steady stream while whisking constantly. Taste and season with lemon juice, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

To prepare the salad, right before serving toss the Romaine hearts in a large bowl with the well whisked Caesar dressing, to taste, until evenly coated. Place the romaine on a serving platter then sprinkle the garlic-infused croutons on top followed by some freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, a few more drizzles of dressing, and a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately with extra lemon wedges. Enjoy.

Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Sides
Servings: 4
Author: Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original by Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients

  • Croutons:
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups baguette cubed
  • Caesar Dressing:
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small clove of garlic minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets minced to a paste (about 3/4 tsp)
  • tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Salad:
  • Romaine hearts trimmed or cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Fresh Parmesan grated
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions

  • Make the croutons by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  • While the oven is preheating, make the garlic-infused olive oil by adding the minced garlic to the oil and allowing it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine sieve.
  • Toss the garlic-infused oil with the cubes of bread then season well with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Toss very well until evenly coated.
  • Pour onto the baking sheet then place into the oven and bake, flipping with a spatula occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Make the dressing
    by heating 2 inches of water in a small saucepan over high heat.
  • Once the water is boiling, place the egg in the water using a slotted spoon.
  • Cook for 45 seconds then remove.
  • As soon as the egg is cool enough, crack the egg open; reserve the yolk into a bowl and discard the whites (or save it for another recipe).
  • Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, anchovy paste, and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste, to the yolk.
  • Whisk until very well combined.
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a slow steady stream while whisking constantly.
  • Taste and season with lemon juice, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • To prepare the salad
    , right before serving toss the Romaine hearts in a large bowl with the well whisked Caesar dressing, to taste, until evenly coated.
  • Place the romaine on a serving platter then sprinkle the garlic-infused croutons on top followed by some freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, a few more drizzles of dressing, and a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately with extra lemon wedges. Enjoy.
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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    One of my favorite salads !
    Look really delicious!!

  2. I can’t believe you went so long in life without having a Caesar salad! I feel like that might have been the first kind of salad I had lol. Such a classic!

  3. Caesar salad was one of the first things that I made where I felt I had made fancy food and to this day it is still one of my favorites. Yours looks amazing as always. Your picture makes me want to reach in and grab a bite.

  4. 5 stars
    How long would this dressing last if I made more and put it in a jar?

    1. I don’t believe it’s safe to store it more than a day. I only make this dressing on the day of serving.

      Pam