Caesar Salad is one of those creations that sounds elegant and complicated, yet is incredibly basic and easy to make. I have always shied away from making my own Caesar dressing because of two things–raw eggs and anchovies.
While I stand patently firm on not eating raw eggs because of potential salmonella issues, reluctance to eat anchovies was a learned behavior. They used to be extremely popular on pizza, but it would take a manly man to agree to eat anchovies–everyone else would go into shivering convulsions over the thought of eating those little canned fish darlings. Although I had actually never tasted anchovies, I was certain that something vile would happen to me if I did eat them. Maybe a large blinking sign with an arrow pointing at me would appear over my head, “WARNING: This girl eats ANCHOVIES.”
It took many years for me to agree to eat a Caesar salad, because of the anchovies and the raw eggs. Then, Lighthouse Salad Dressing appeared on the scene and I finally felt comfortable eating Caesar salad, knowing that the eggs were safe and I couldn’t actually ‘see’ the anchovies. It was delicious and I couldn’t get enough of it. Basic Caesar Salad = A, Caesar Salad with Chicken = A+, Caesar Salad with tempura battered Grouper = A++++++! (I had the latter every single day on a cruise that I took a few years ago!)
The recipe presented here is ‘safe’–no raw eggs. To get around having to actually open a can of anchovies, I have used anchovy paste. I do have a can of anchovies in my pantry, waiting for me to get over my ridiculous ancient reluctance. I mean, afterall, I have no problem with Worcestershire sauce which contains anchovies. And I now have no problem with a processed Caesar salad dressing (but, I am relentlessly picky about the brand), so what is my deal with opening up a can of anchovies?
The salad itself, only contains three ingredients–romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and croutons. The dressing is the star of the show and is decidedly super easy to make.Print
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
For the Salad:
- 1-2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into bite sized pieces
- grated fresh Parmesan cheese–amount per personal preference
- croutons–amount per personal preference (my favorites are garlic and olive oil or Caesar)
For the Caesar Salad Dressing:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used a light mayo)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice from about 1/2 of a whole lemon)
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- pinch of sugar, to cut the acidity
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Put romaine into a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with desired amount of Parmesan cheese. I tend to like more rather than less, but everyone is different. Sprinkle a handful or two of croutons over the lettuce and cheese. Set aside.
For the salad dressing:
- Put the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, anchovy paste, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese into a blender. Blitz for a few seconds.
- With the blender running (keep the lid on!) slowly drizzle in the olive oil to create an emulsion.
- Pour desired amount of dressing over salad. Toss. Serve immediately. Note: Depending on personal taste, the salad may not require the full amount of salad dressing. Serve any extra dressing on the side.
Cooked chicken or cooked fish are a nice addition to this salad.