Classic Caesar Salad

This Caesar salad recipe has no relation to the sad version you were served at a wedding in the ’90s. A great Caesar has swagger: The romaine lettuce should be cold and crunchy, the dressing creamy and briny, and the croutons craggily and freshly made. A few tips for how to get there:

The dressing: Squeamish about raw egg yolks and anchovies? Sorry! Yolks are what give richness to the emulsion, while umami-rich anchovies are the primary reason Caesar salad dressing tastes so good—that, and a good garlicky kick. (If you just cannot, swap in mayo for a lazy Caesar instead, replacing the anchovy with a splash of Worcestershire sauce.)

The homemade croutons: Tear your bread instead of cutting it (we like a rustic country sourdough, but any sturdy loaf works). The shaggy edges that result from ripping bread into bite-size pieces will hold on to the creamy dressing (and make the salad more dynamic to eat).

The greens: Cold lettuce = crisp lettuce. Separate the leaves of a few romaine hearts, rinse if necessary, dry, and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss everything together.

The cheese: Pre-shredded cheese is a no-go. Pick up a hunk of real Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano if you can get your hands on some), and shave it into thin planks with a vegetable peeler.

The method: Toss in your largest bowl with your hands. Distributing this thicker dressing evenly requires feeling, so leave the tongs aside, give your hands a good wash, and dive right in. Serve immediately.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in April 2013.

 

 

Ingredients

6 Servings

Dressing:

6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

1 small garlic clove

Kosher salt

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more

¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

Croutons:

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3 cups torn 1″ pieces country bread, with crusts

3 tablespoons olive oil

Assembly:

3 romaine hearts, leaves separated

Parmesan, for serving

Preparation

Dressing:

Step 1

Chop together anchovy fillets, garlic, and pinch of salt. Use the side of a knife blade to mash into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in olive oil, then vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.

Croutons:

Step 2

Preheat oven to 375°. Toss bread with olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10–15 minutes.

Assembly:

Step 3

Place whole romaine leaves (for the ideal mix of crispness, surface area, and structure) in a large bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave a modest amount of Parmesan (a mound of grated Parmesan may look impressive, but all that clumpy cheese mutes the dressing). Use your hands to gently toss together the lettuce, croutons, and dressing. Top with the shaved Parm.

Nutrition Per Serving

6 servings 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 380 Fat (g) 35 Saturated Fat (g) 7 Cholesterol (mg) 80 Carbohydrates (g) 11 Dietary Fibre (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 8 Sodium (mg) 450


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