Caesar Salad My Way

January 9, 2010

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I have been fanatical about Caesar salad all my life. Come to think of it, it’s my first “taste memory.” I love it. I adore it. And I have cooked dozens of different preparations before finally deciding on one unbelievable recipe.

Before I pass it along, you have to agree to 2 simple truths about what constitutes a really great Caesar dressing. Are you ready?

Here they are….

  1. There are anchovies involved. Don’t be squeamish. The dressing won’t taste fishy, I promise. The purpose of them is to add depth of flavor. You won’t know they’re there.
  2. Raw egg yolk is involved. There is nothing worse to me then mayonnaise as an egg substitute in Caesar salad. It tastes watery and medicinal. You won’t get sick or die from the yolk part of an egg.

Now that that’s out of the way, everything else is embarrassingly simple. Here goes…

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Ceasar Salad My Way

  1. First, chop up “the big three.” That’s a heaping spoonful each of chopped capers, garlic and anchovies.
  2. Toss them in a blender.
  3. Then, throw in an egg yolk.
  4. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon.
  5. Grate about 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano into the blender.
  6. Add two pinches of salt and one pinch of pepper and blend for about 30 seconds. (If you mixture is too thick, you can add a few tablespoons of water.)
  7. Continue blending, and very slowly stream in 1/2 cup of canola oil and 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Chop some romaine lettuce, and dress the salad. Lightly, of course. Just enough to coat the lettuce.
  9. At the end, I like to add a couple of tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Parmigiano.
  10. Eat and enjoy!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff January 9, 2010 at 9:49 am

This looks wonderful! You’ve really highlighted what I love about Caesar dressing – straightforward, fresh, and very flavorful. Nicely done.

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Courtney January 10, 2010 at 6:38 am

Thanks, Jeff! Everyone makes there’s a bit different, as I’m sure you do, but this one has a smooth, tangy flavor that I love. That’s the power of anchovies! Mysterious flavor that creeps in and adds depth…

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Jillian January 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Courtney, I love your blog – your writing, creativity and recipes are wonderful! (the tealights on the glasses – SWOON!) And I just love ANCHOVIES! I’ve made Caesar dressing this way before too – I think the recipe was from a book called Simply Salads from William Sonoma. And I always have a tin on hand for this super easy aglio olio sauce I like to make. But I used to always have LEFTOVER ‘chovies that I’d just end up throwing away because they’d get gross in the fridge. Well, Cooks Illustrated had a great tip: roll up the leftovers and place them on a little plate in the fridge until they harden just enough to store in a ziploc baggie in the freezer. Works like a charm!

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Ellie January 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm

A pasteurized egg can be used as a substitute to mayonnaise and normal eggs because they provide a safe alternative to non-pasteurized eggs while being tastier than mayo.

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Courtney January 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

Ellie, thanks for your great tip. Where do you get your pasteurized eggs?

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Andy Tsitouris January 12, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Don’t read this blog at work on an empty stomach. The rest of the afternoon will be painful to get through if you do. I missed lunch and then read about caramelized scallops, anchovies, and Parmigiano-Reggiano….mercy!!

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Diane Pfefferkorn January 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Also, you DO NOT want to go to this blog at 11pm… I am so hungry now, I’ll have to go find something (not as appealing as these recipes) to eat.

Courtney the next Julia!

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Courtney January 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

Hey Diane… now those are some big shoes to fill. Thanks for checking out the site!

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Kristen January 12, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Courtney! I remember when we were roomies and I saw you make this Caesar salad for the first time. Did you temper the egg back then? The anchovies are an absolute MUST! They always announce their arrival to the party and bring in all the flavor. Love the blog!

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