Best Caesar Salad

Dinner

The Best Caesar Salad consists of a thick dressing made up of egg yolks, anchovy fillets, olive oil, parmesan and lemon juice. These ingredients create a delicious savory dressing that is delicious when tossed with garlic croutons and crisp romaine leaves.

Best Caesar Salad

If you were to ask me, “Adrianna, what is your favorite salad?” Without skipping a beat, I would say, A CAESAR SALAD. I love the crispiness of romaine lettuce, I love the savory quality of anchovies, I love bread in salad (who doesn’t). It’s all glorious.

This blog post is a story of how I like to make the Best Caesar Salad. It’s actually not super difficult. A food processor makes it go very quickly. If you don’t have one, no worries, I gotchu (more info below). Let’s begin.

Best Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad Origin

I love topics like this! Caesar salad was first originally started at a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico by the Italian immigrant named Caesar Cardini in 1924. It’s been around for a LONG time. A lot of people thing its origins are from Italy but it’s much more complicated than that.

Caesar Salad Ingredients

  • Anchovies. I like to buy anchovies packed in olive oil that are jarred. You store them in the fridge and they’re delightful. I would avoid anchovy paste, if possible. It’s not as delicious. White anchovies are the best you can get. Unfortunately I hardly ever buy them due to their price point.
  • Parmesan. It’s a delicious savory addition to this salad.
  • Egg yolks. This will thicken the dressing and help with the emulsification.
  • Lemon Juice. This balances out the saltiness beautifully.
  • Dijon mustard. The flavor from the mustard is super delicious but what I love is that you don’t even taste it.
  • Olive oil.
  • Avocado Oil (or other neutral oil). If you don’t have neutral oil, you could absolutely use ALL olive oil or ALL avocado oil.
  • Freshly ground pepper.

Best Caesar Salad

How to Make Caesar Salad

  1. Start with the croutons. I like to melt butter, a bit of olive oil, minced garlic and salt. And then toss it with bread on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake the croutons. Is it just me but I don’t like rock hard croutons? I like ones with a bit of give but with crunchy edges.
  3. Add the Parmesan to a food processor. What if you don’t own a food processor? You can do all of this in a big bowl! See below for more details. Blend it up until the food processor resembles a corse meal.
  4. Next up, add the anchovies, garlic cloves, egg yolks, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.
  5. With the food processor running, pour in the neutral oil and olive oil.
  6. Scrape down the sides, add a few rounds of freshly ground pepper and blend again.
  7. Give it a taste and add any additional salt. I didn’t really need any. This will depend on your anchovies.

How to Make Caesar Dressing Without a Food Processor

For this recipe, I utilized a food processor. But what if you don’t have one? No biggie! Here’s what I would recommend:

  • Grab a large bowl
  • Mince up and mash the anchovies and garlic together. Add a pinch of salt to them both and mash and mash with the back of your knife so that it resembles a paste. No big chunks of garlic allowed!
  • Grate the Parmesan with a box grater or hand grater. And then proceed by mixing everything together. A whisk will be your best friend in this.

Best Caesar Salad

Best Caesar Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Assembly 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serving Size: 6
Calories: 205kcal

Ingredients

Garlic Croutons:

  • 3 cups (1-inch) pieces of Italian or country bread, with crusts and all
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • Kosher salt

Dressing:

  • 2 ounces Parmesan-Reggiano, (about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano)
  • 6 anchovy fillets packet in oil, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil, (or other neutral oil)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher salt

Romaine:

  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, outside leaves trimmed and/or discarded
  • Topping:
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce Parmesan-Reggiano

Directions

To Make the Croutons:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Tear your bread until you get 3 cups of torn bread pieces. Add them to a baking sheet.
  • In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, add the butter, olive oil, garlic and a few pinches of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Immediately pour over the torn bread and toss until the bread has been coated in the butter mixture. Transfer to the oven to bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • I don’t like my croutons too too hard. If you like them crunchy, you’re more than welcome to bake them an extra 5 minutes longer.

To Make the Dressing:

  • In a food processor, add the Parmesan-Reggiano. Pulse until it’s grated and ground up. Then, add the anchovy fillets and garlic cloves; and blend. Next, pour in the egg yolks, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. With the food processor running, pour in the neutral oil and olive oil. Open up the food processor and scrape down the sides. Add about 5 turns of freshly ground pepper and blend one last time. Give it a taste and mix in salt to taste. I only needed a pinch. This will vary depending on your anchovies.
  • At this point, you can store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

To Assemble the Salad:

  • Prep your romaine lettuce. Trim off the root end. Discard any outer leaves that are witty and browned. And then using a knife, slice the romaine into 2-inch strips. Transfer it to a colander and wash. And then dry.
  • Place romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Pour dressing on top, along with the reserved bread crumbs, Parmesan-Reggiano and toss until evenly coated. You really want to make sure the leaves are thoroughly coated in dressing.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

To Store Dressing:
Dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days when stored in an air-tight container. 
Equipment:
Large Stainless Steel Bowls | Olive Oil Dispenser | Food Processor | Kitchen Towels | Baking Sheet | Chef's Knife | Oxo Measuring Spoons
CourseAppetizer, Lunch, Salad
CuisineAmerican, Italian, Mexican
Keywordcaesar salad dressing, caesar salad ingredients, caesar salad recipe, kale caesar salad
Nutrition Facts
Best Caesar Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving (6 g)
Calories 205 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 20mg1%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 117IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

If you make this recipe, let me know on Instagram! 

Looking to pair caesar salad some things? Here are some options:

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38 Comments

Leave a Reply

  • Reply Belinda @themoonblushbaker September 16, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Gosh the number of times I have seen the Caesar salad in its glory ( like yours) and the fails (my University cafe) I also number order salads when out, only if I am feeling particular full.
    I think I have also seen a caesar salad that made a custard out of the dressing and topped with parmesen crisps. Now that is too fancy but yours is great for the everyday person.

  • Reply Connie September 16, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Whoa, fancy ass indeed with the romaine grilling.

  • Reply Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe September 16, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I have a huge passion for salads and Caesar Salad is definitely among my favorites! But – I feel ashamed to admit it – I didn’t know the proper seasoning required anchovies in it! Now I literally can’t wait to try it out with your twists, I’m sure it’ll be even more delicious!

    xo, Elisa

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 16, 2013 at 3:25 am

    This fancy-ass series is so fun! Love this salad 🙂

  • Reply Erin September 16, 2013 at 3:36 am

    That looks incredible!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Tieghan September 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

    To be honest, I have been afraid of Cesar salad every since I hate bad one at champs years ago. Let’s just say it was good going down, but not coming back up. I have not had one since, but making my own? That I can totally get on board with. This looks awesome!

  • Reply Stella September 16, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Charred romaine? Genius!! This looks delicious.

  • Reply Ali @ Inspiralized September 16, 2013 at 6:25 am

    LOVE this! I really like charring romaine… adds such flavor and crunch. Great recipe, can’t wait to try it out!

  • Reply Bev @ Bev Cooks September 16, 2013 at 6:51 am

    My face just fell off.

  • Reply Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) September 16, 2013 at 7:33 am

    I love a good Caesar salad! This looks wonderful–love your “fancy-ass” posts 🙂

  • Reply dishing up the dirt September 16, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I love a good Caesar Salad! Anchovies are a must. Looks fabulous.

  • Reply Aura September 16, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Hello Adrienne:
    Great recipe and love you charred the romaine. Now I would like to know if you used the whole egg or only the yolk? Usually the recipe for the Caesar dressing calls for yolks not whole egg.
    Thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

      It’s actually the whole egg. This will result in a more pourable dressing. I’ve tried versions with just the egg yolk and I’ve always felt that they were too much like an aioli, too thick.

  • Reply Sharon September 16, 2013 at 9:30 am

    This looks like that it came right out of a fancy-ass restaurant!!! What a fabulous salad! !!! Too awesome!

  • Reply Sarah Crowder (punctuated. with food) September 16, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Sounds like a PROPER caesar to me – anchovies and homemade croutons ftw.

  • Reply Brittany September 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

    A good caesar salad is totally one of the best things life has to offer. And this one is completely legit, I love it!!

  • Reply Stu Borken September 16, 2013 at 10:30 am

    This is the classic Caesar dressing. It is wonderful. The char on the lettuce is something new and having had it recently, it is a wonderful addition.

  • Reply [email protected] September 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Being an OC kid myself I totally grew up going to Souplantation. The soft serve! And the delicious blueberry muffins, oh man.

    Love the idea of a grilled caesar salad!

  • Reply [email protected] September 16, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Souplantation maybe the best (worst?) name for a restaurant ever. I am imagining a Southern mansion with soup bowls growing in rows in the yard.
    Yum! Know what I’ll be craving all day!

  • Reply Sarah September 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I love your blog and all your fancy-ass posts. You’re an inspiration to me. My ass just wants to be fancier now, and with this salad in the mix, it likely will be.

  • Reply Anna Marie Flaherty September 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Grilling the lettuce sounds great, do you think you could get the same effect charring the lettuce over the stove top instead of a grill pan?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Yes, I’d actually just rub the heads of romaine with olive oil and then place them on the grate of your gas stove. Just like you’d do with a pepper. I’ll work great!

  • Reply Jamie @lifelovelemons September 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Ohhh you fancy!! But seriously, this looks delicious!

  • Reply Becki's Whole Life September 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Yum….. I agree that a good dressing is key to a good caesar salad – and anchovies are a must!

  • Reply Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion September 17, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Love when things are fancy-ass.

  • Reply Bee September 17, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I absolutely love your blog! I found it recently and have to say that it is amazing!
    I love the “fancy-ass” title! So down to earth!
    I made a post about you, would be really cool if you could check it out!
    Lots of Love,
    Bee
    http://thedramaqueenconfesses.blogspot.pt/2013/09/blog-crush-cozy-kitchen.html
    http://thedramaqueenconfesses.blogspot.com

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

      I just took a look and you’re so super SWEET! Thank you! XOXO

  • Reply erin @ yummy supper September 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Adrianna, I’m a big fan of this Fancy-Ass series! Maybe your next book?
    And yes to Caesars, which as SO good when done right. I was cracking up at your cat food description – you nailed that one. Looks so bad, but tastes so good.
    I hope all is well with you!
    xoxo
    E

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Ha! A whole Fancy-Ass book? That’d be so fun. Hope you’re well, too! x

  • Reply Cass @foodmyfriend September 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    That is a fancy ass salad! Love the way balsamic looks over fresh cos <3

  • Reply Kasey September 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    OMG! Souplantation!! I used to go there in San Diego (there’s an equivalent in Norcal which I’m not sure exists anymore called Fresh Choice). Ahh, the memories…

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      I’ve been wanting to go–just as like a joke, but can’t. I just can’t. I’ve been wanting to go back to Sizzler too!

  • Reply Weekend Finds 9:21:13 | Serious Crust Serious Crust September 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    […] And I always wish I made caesar salad more often myself, but I can never quite get that fancy feel. A Cozy Kitchen’s new post teaches how to make your own dressing, croutons, etc. to make the perfect […]

  • Reply NeenAnn September 26, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Best one I’ve had was a Lydia’s in Kansas City. I couldn’t get enough. In fact, I asked for seconds of the salad, rather than the pasta tasting for lunch one day. Caesar is amazing, and it does take anchovies. Thanks for a recipe. Can’t wait to try this out!

  • Reply Reduced Balsamic Warm Kale Salad – Two Ways | Frugal Nutrition March 20, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    […] to help me like salad at a young age, and I’m totally okay with it. I have big plans to make this fancy caesar salad, but that link has been bookmarked for somewhere around forever. I’ll get to it one […]

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