Exactly what constitutes a "classic" Caesar salad is a matter of some contention, but this recipe will be familiar to most. The dressing, which must be made fresh, contains raw egg yolks - so if you're concerned about the small risk of salmonella, choose another recipe. This recipe will make enough for six salads, and there will be leftover dressing.
- Don't panic if the dressing separates while you're blending in the oil. To restore it, place two more egg yolks and an equal volume of dijon mustard in a mixing bowl. Whisk it by hand for 2 to 3 minutes, and then slowly whisk in the separated dressing in a thin, slow, steady stream. It should come back together.
- If you're not up for the raw yolks, use our recipe for easy Caesar dressing instead (see "Make Easy Caesar Salad Dressing," under Related eHows).
- Caesar salad is said to have been invented in 1924 in Tijuana, Mexico, by Caesar Cardini. Accounts differ, however, as to what the original salad contained, and whether it was tossed with a vinaigrette or creamy dressing.
- If it separates and you're feeling adventurous, the dressing can also be restored in the food processor. Scrape the dressing into a bowl, place two egg yolks and an equal volume of dijon mustard in the bowl and pulse it together in short bursts for two or three minutes. Don't run the machine at full speed because the heat might cause the yolks to curdle and separate. Once blended, start the machine and drizzle in the separated dressing.
- Place the egg yolks, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, garlic and anchovies in a food processor, and season well with fresh cracked black pepper.
- Start the machine running so that the ingredients begin to blend.
- Blend for 5 to 10 seconds, and then start drizzling in the olive oil in a very thin, slow, steady stream. If at any point the dressing separates, or "breaks," see Tips below.
- Stop the machine when 1 c. oil has been incorporated. Scrape down the sides, add the vinegars and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Start the machine again, blend in another 1/3 or 1/2 c. oil, and then stop the machine.
- Taste the dressing. The anchovy flavor won't be pronounced yet, but you're looking for a balance between creaminess and the tart, tangy flavor from the vinegars and lemon juice. If the dressing tastes too creamy, stir in some more lemon juice. If it's too tart, blend in the remaining oil.
- Chill the dressing until ready to use, but don't store overnight. Because of the raw egg yolks, it's best to use it the day you make it. The anchovy flavor will become more prominent as the dressing sits.
- To assemble the salad, discard the outer leaves from the romaine. Chop, wash and dry the remaining leaves. Leave the smaller leaves in the heart whole.
- Toss the romaine with some of the dressing and half the croutons. Caesar is usually enjoyed with a fairly large amount of dressing.
- Divide the salad between serving plates, and top each one with some of the cheese, a generous twist of fresh cracked black pepper and the remaining croutons. Additional garnishes can include whole anchovy fillets and shaved sheets of Parmesan.
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 c. croutons
- 2 c. olive oil
- 2 heads horseradish or romaine lettuce
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 3 fresh egg yolks
- 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 8-10 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- cracked black pepper