One of my favorite salads of all time: Caesar.
In all my food, I like BIG flavors. This recipe is no different. It calls for lots of garlic (did you know if you add a surplus of raw garlic to a dish, it actually makes it spicy?!?) Extra lemon. A bunch of pepper. But just a little bit of anchovy. What can I say…a leopard rarely changes its spots.
When I had my first *real* restaurant job, I started on the Salad Station. I could barely keep up, even though the only actual job expectations were cutting lettuce and plating salads. But it got my foot in the door to work my way up the ladder.
This dressing – well a version of it anyway – was one of the first things I was allowed to make on my own. Of course, the recipe I learned had something like 2 quarts of heavy cream, 6 flats of raw eggs, a case of lemons, 3 gallons of olive oil and almost a POUND of anchovy fillets.
Needless to say, this is on a much smaller scale. But it’s a true version of Caesar dressing, right down to the uncooked egg. One of the biggest changes I’ve made over the years is the equipment I use.
See how easy my Caesar dressing recipe is below!
When I made this at the restaurant in the early 90’s, it was in a mixer big enough to take a bath in. To prevent the dressing from separating was nearly impossible. All the ingredients stayed out overnight to get them to room temperature since warm ingredients stay emulsified better than cold ones. And we drizzled the oil into the mix so slowly it would take almost 30 minutes to add all of it, just like you’re taught in cooking school.
Inevitably, I would pull out a 5-gallon bucket of dressing to stock my station for dinner service and there would be a clear separation of oil from the rest. And then I’d get into trouble because it was supposed to be creamy.
When I had my own restaurant, I figured out that warm ingredients and slowly adding the oil weren’t the answer. The answer is an immersion blender.
Now I can dump all the ingredients together in a tall container, buzz it for a few minutes on high and “ka-blam!” Creamy, lemony, garlicky, delicious Caesar dressing ready for any number of crisp greens in just a matter of minutes.
If you add a little grilled shrimp or chicken, you can call it a meal. So buzz up a batch tonight, mix a mai tai (from my last post!) and put your feet up. It’s Friday, we’re still in quarantine, and you deserve something delicious.
Get into the kitchen and let me know how it goes!
Caesar Salad DressingCourse: Soups, Salads and SandwichesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
This dressing comes together in a jiffy and is delicious on any kind of hearty greens or even as a sauce for grilled fish and vegetables.
1 egg (uncooked)
1 anchovy fillet, or more to taste
2 oz fresh peeled garlic (about 16 cloves)
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1-1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (or half EVOO and half canola oil)
4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Put all ingredients in tall container. Pulse with immersion blender until creamy and homogenous.
- To serve: Mix with chopped romaine lettuce and pecorino cheese, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Top with croutons or toasted breadcrumbs and more cheese. Eat immediately.
- Yes, this recipe uses a raw egg in it. That’s traditional along with the anchovies, so give it a try. Only those with severe immunity issues should be concerned.
- The dressing will keep for at least a few weeks in the fridge.
- It may seem like a lot of garlic, but that’s my preference. If you want to cut back, feel free…but I don’t recommend it.
- As I mentioned above, this isn’t just great as a traditional Caesar salad. For Thanksgiving weekend last year, I had Caesar salad on the menu one night. Unbeknownst to me, there was a romaine lettuce shortage. All I could find was kale so I mixed it with thinly sliced, uncooked cauliflower and some pecorino and breadcrumbs. It instantly became my new favorite. It also is great with raw or cooked broccoli or grilled pork, chicken or fish. Just don’t use wimpy greens – leave your iceburg or mesclun mix for a Ranch Dressing kinda day.