Sunday, April 7, 2013

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad on Plate with Croutons, Overhead View

A Remake of a 20th Century Classic

Everyone has heard of Caesar Salad.  But you may not know that it was invented in 1924 by Caesar Cardini, who operated a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico (just across the border from San Diego, California).  At the time, Prohibition was in full swing in the US.  So many people in southern California took a drive to Tijuana to slake their thirst with a cocktail.  Or two.  While there, they generally got something to eat.  Enter Caesar Cardini, and his famous salad.

The original was different from what is today served as Caesar Salad.  The 21st century iteration tends to be heavy on anchovies and garlic, and the dressing may be a creamy one with Dijon mustard or mayonnaise.  By contrast, the original salad had a more low-key profile.  Garlic infused the croutons that accompanied the salad, but not the salad itself.  The dressing contained only olive oil, lemon juice, raw egg, salt, pepper, and some drops of Worcestershire — which contains a tiny bit of anchovy.  That was it.

The original version is good (I'll give you the recipe for that, too).  But I much prefer the umami-rich Caesar Salad that’s more often prepared today.  It may not be “authentic,” but the flavor is much better. 

And it’s easy to make at home.  So you don’t need to visit Tijuana.


Caesar Salad on Plate with Croutons

Recipe:  Caesar Salad

Romaine lettuce is the green of choice for Caesar Salad.  It’s so widely available — and so tasty — that it’s the only option I would consider for this dish.  If you want to make the traditional recipe, you would strip off the outer leaves and use only the more tender inner section (the heart) of the romaine head.  Originally, the leaves were served whole, not torn into bite-sized pieces; diners would eat the salad by picking up each leaf and nibbling on it (which is also the traditional way to eat asparagus).  If you elect to serve it this way, provide extra napkins.

Garlic-flavored croutons can add flavor to the salad.  When I’m serving the whole-leaf version of this dish, though, I sometimes substitute garlic bread — which requires no fork. You can use store-bought croutons, but homemade ones are much better (check out my recipe for Quick Homemade Croutons). In this recipe, I assume that you’ll either buy croutons or use my “quick” recipe, but in the Notes I’ll provide another method for making croutons.

This recipe calls for raw egg, which is used to help form an emulsion between olive oil and lemon juice. (In Hollandaise Sauce, raw egg serves a similar purpose.) Eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So I recommend using pasteurized eggs. If you prefer not to do that, you can also coddle the egg (i.e., cook it for one minute). But be warned that a coddled egg may not reach the heat level necessary to kill salmonella. More about codding eggs in the Notes.

This recipe serves 4. Leftovers don’t keep well, so make only what you need.

Active preparation time for this salad is about 10 minutes. But you need to wash, dry, and chill the lettuce at least an hour ahead of time. If you make your own croutons (which I do recommend, because the flavor is so much better), that will take another half hour or so (though you can prepare them while the lettuce is chilling). Bottom line: You need to start working on this salad about 2 hours before you plan to serve it, but active time will be under half an hour.

Ingredients
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce (about a pound)
  • ~1 ounce Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about 1 cup, but see Notes; or to taste)
  • 2 - 4 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • ~1 ounce canned anchovies, drained (optional)
  • 1 whole egg, preferably pasteurized or coddled (see discussion above; for substitute, see Notes below)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ~½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste (this recipe works best with coarse Kosher or sea salt)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (at least 6 grinds)
  • croutons for garnish (at least half a dozen per serving, preferably garlic infused; see discussion above, and Notes)
Procedure
  1. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces (or keep the leaves whole if you prefer the traditional serving style).  Wash, dry, and chill lettuce for at least an hour.
  2. When ready to prepare the salad, grate Parmesan cheese.  Place about a third of the grated cheese into a small serving bowl for table use, and set aside the rest for use in making the salad.
  3. Peel the garlic.  Rinse off anchovies and drain them.  On a cutting board, chop and mash the garlic and anchovies until they form a fine paste (you can also whirl them in a mini food processor).  Place the garlic-and-anchovy mixture in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Crack open an egg (for instructions on coddling, see Notes) and add to the garlic-and-anchovy mixture.  Squeeze the juice from a lemon, and add 2 tablespoons of juice to the mixture.
  5. With a wire whisk, mix the garlic, anchovy, egg, and lemon-juice mixture until light and foamy (or see Notes if you want to prepare this mixture in a blender).
  6. Now add the olive oil:  While whisking continuously, dribble the oil into the mixture.  At the beginning, add it drop by drop so that it will be fully absorbed.  As an emulsion begins to form (the contents in the bowl will thicken), you can start adding the oil in a thin stream.  If at any point the emulsion thins out, stop adding oil and whisk vigorously.
  7. Taste the dressing mixture and add Worcestershire to taste.  Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  8. Place the lettuce in a large mixing bowl.  Add about ½ the salad dressing, and toss the greens to coat evenly.  Add additional dressing until the leaves are coated to your satisfaction (I sometimes don’t use the entire amount of dressing, but I always prefer to have too much rather than not enough).
  9. Add about half the grated Parmesan cheese that you have set aside, and toss to incorporate.  Add the rest of the cheese, and toss again.
  10. Dish the salad onto plates (chilled ones are nice).  Garnish with croutons.  At table, pass around the serving bowl of grated Parmesan (from Step 2).

Caesar Salad on Plate with Croutons

Notes
  • If you want to coddle the egg, here’s how:  Start with the egg at room temperature.  Heat water in a small saucepan until it boils, then add the egg (in the shell) and cook for exactly one minute.  At the minute mark, remove the egg and plunge it into cold water to cool; then use it in Step 4.  (I think it’s simpler— and safer — to use pasteurized eggs.)
  • It’s easier to measure the Parmesan by weight than by volume.  Depending on how coarsely I grate it, an ounce can produce anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup of grated cheese.  If measuring by volume, pack down the grated cheese firmly before you measure.
  • But when it comes to cheese (or most ingredients in this recipe), it’s really a matter of taste — use whatever quantity you prefer.
  • If you don’t want to mix the salad dressing by hand, you can use a blender:  Just combine the anchovy, garlic, egg, and lemon juice in a blender jar and whirl to combine.  Then with the blender running, dribble the olive oil into the jar.  Once the emulsion has formed and all the olive oil has been absorbed, taste the dressing.  Then add Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • As noted, I recommend using my recipe for Quick Homemade Croutons. Alternatively, here’s another way to make garlic-infused croutons: Take some stale bread (Italian works well) and cut into cubes of about ½ inch (remove the crusts or not, as you prefer). In a small bowl, mash 2 or 3 cloves of garlic (or put them through a garlic press) and add a couple of pinches of salt. Mix in 3 or 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes to infuse the oil with garlic flavor. Then heat a frying pan and pour in the oil mixture (some people like to strain the garlic out of the oil, but I never bother). When the oil mixture is hot, lightly fry the bread cubes for a minute or so on each side. Cool before using in the salad. 
  • If you don’t want to use egg in this recipe, you can substitute about a tablespoon of mayonnaise. You’ll still get an emulsion, but the flavor will be different. 
  • Some people substitute Dijon mustard for the egg. I haven’t tried that (though for extra flavor, I sometimes do add a teaspoon or so of mustard to the mix in Step 5, in addition to the egg). 
  • You can skip the anchovies if you prefer. I like them, but they weren’t in the original recipe. 
  • You can skip the garlic too. Though I don’t know why anyone would want to! 
  • I’ve had versions of Caesar Salad with bleu cheese added. It’s a great addition, and worth trying. 
  • Off topic, but interesting to me: Suzanne Perazzini, who writes the blog Strands of My Life, has written an e-cookbook called Afternoon Tea. All of the recipes are free of grains, gluten, dairy, sugar, and nuts. So if you have an intolerance to any of these ingredients, this book may be for you. If you don’t know Suzanne’s blog, you should — she’s a great photographer and a superb, creative recipe writer. She’s posted a few of the book’s recipes on her blog, so you can check them out to see if her book is your, well, cup of tea. She’s also running a discount on the book if you order it within the next week. You can read more about Suzanne’s cookbook if you click here.
Caesar Salad on Plate with Garlic Bread

The Original Caesar Salad

Julia Child had the original Caesar Salad at Caesar Cardini’s restaurant when she was a youngster, around 1925 or 1926.  She described the meal on one of her TV programs and in her cookbook, From Julia Child’s Kitchen, noting that her parents were “wildly excited that they should finally lunch at Caesar’s restaurant.” Caesar Cardini himself prepared the salad, tossing it in a big bowl tableside.

Alas, Julia didn’t recall many details about the preparation or serving of the salad.  But the producer of her TV program, Ruthie Lockwood, was able to track down Rosa Cardini, daughter of Caesar.  Although Rosa had been born several years after her father created the salad, she knew every detail about it because the event was so often discussed in the family.  And she shared her knowledge with Julia Child, which is how we know about the original recipe.

Here it is, in case you want to make Caesar Salad the original way (this recipe serves about 6):  You’ll need the hearts (inner leaves) of two romaine lettuce heads.  Don’t tear the leaves — just keep them whole.  Wash, dry, and chill the lettuce leaves, then place them in a big salad bowl.  While the lettuce is chilling, assemble your other ingredients and have them ready to go:  olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, the juice from 1 lemon, Worcestershire sauce, 2 coddled eggs (chilled), 1 ounce of grated Parmesan cheese, and croutons made with garlic-infused oil.

Add about 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the lettuce in the bowl, and toss gently.  Julia Child said that Caesar Cardini used “rather slow and dramatic gestures” when tossing the salad, giving the leaves “rolling tosses” in a wave-like motion, tossing toward himself.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then add another 2 tablespoons of oil, and toss again.  Add lemon juice and 6 drops of Worcestershire sauce.  Then break the eggs and add them to the lettuce.  Toss again (twice, according to Julia) and add the grated cheese.  Toss again and add the croutons.  Toss, toss again, and serve.

This recipe is good — but not as good as using anchovies, IMO.  And it definitely doesn’t have enough garlic.

That latter deficiency is a deal breaker for me, because I love garlic.  And besides, you can’t be too careful — you never know when you might run into a vampire.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Quick Homemade Croutons
Summer Pasta Salad
Chopped Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
Spinach Salad with Parmesan
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
Hungarian Cucumber Salad
Shaved Fennel Salad
BLT Salad
Chef's Salad
Edamame and Bean Salad
White Bean and Tuna Salad
Roast Strawberry Salad
Salade Niçoise
Hollandaise Sauce

94 comments:

  1. You know I haven't had a Caesar salad in ages, they're always so good especially if the lettuce is cold and crisp. Great recipe. I prefer the leaves to be served whole. Presentation wise you can't beat it. Great tips as well on the eggs, and measuring the Parmesan. Today would be a nice day to have this outdoors.

    I just finished biking to Forest Park and back. If you and your wife ever care to join me let me know, I'd love the company.

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    1. Hi Vicki, great day for a bike ride! Isn't this such a great salad? And I agree that when it comes to presentation, leaving the leaves whole is the way to go. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. One of my favorites and yet, like Vicki, not one I've had for a bit. I can't imagine anything but romaine lettuce either! Why bother making a Caesar salad too if skipping the egg or anchovies or garlic?? Those are what make it so terrific in my book.

    Vicki also mentioned Forest Park...ahh, memories. I used to live a block away before we moved from St. Louis; so many days riding my bike through the Park after work...this time of year especially it was so lovely.

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    1. Hi Barb, Forest Park is a wonderful place. New Yorkers are often amazed to learn that Central Park is much smaller than Forest Park. And Caesar salad without anchovies or garlic, for me, just isn't Caesar salad! Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Oops! Blogger accidentally deleted a comment from Nazeen at www.coffeeandcrumpets.com. Fortunately I get emails of all comments - this is what she wrote:

    What a gorgeous salad John! I love a well made Caesar but unfortunately, I can never seem to find one. They almost always drenched in dressing, even at good steakhouses. It's just better to make it at home.

    Yours is so stunning with the whole leaves and vibrant green. I love the croutons and the pile of cheese!

    So, is there a restaurant still there in that location in Tijuana?

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    1. Hi Nazeen, I'm not sure if there's still a restaurant at that location in Tijuana - great question. And I agree that too much dressing on this salad is as bad as too little. Thanks for the comment.

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    2. Yes, Caesar's Restaurant is maybe the longest running business of its kind in Tijuana, and it's located at the Hotel Caesar (where it moved during the mid20s after brief stints in nearby venues also in downtown Tj) in Avenida Revolución, between 4th and 5th streets. New ownership took over in 2010, remodeled the place 1940s style and they still toss your salad tableside... They serve anchovies on the side and the menu is curated by local celebrity chef Javier Plascencia (who has been featured on Anthony Bourdain's pay TV show). It's a small place full of history and worth visiting (now that Tijuana is safer from the 2007-2009 era). http://caesarstijuana.com/

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    3. Hi cantorpistola, terrific information! Thank you so much for sharing this. I really appreciate you taking the time to help us out and comment.

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  4. Caesar is a not a guest at our table anymore! He is more like a standard fixture. This is my husband's favorite salad and he loves whole anchovies. He is not a vegetable lover and I am always happy when he eats his salad so I stick with what he likes. Made this for years until my daughter asked me if I could come up with something else. She didn't care that that was all dad would eat! Good post!

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    1. Hi Abbe, this is a great salad, isn't it? Whole anchovies are wonderful! We eat this often, too - just love the flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  5. This is such a great recipe and dish, John. Nothing can quite compare with a well-made Caesar salad -- and nothing more disappointing than one poorly made. Glad that you make a point of reserving half of the dressing unless needed. No matter the quality of the ingredients, too much dressing will overwhelm them every time. My recipe is the one my Dad made on special occasions. I'll need some practice before I post it. This post has brought to mind some great memories of him in his element. Thank you for both, the recipe and the nostalgia.

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    1. Hi John, too much dressing is almost as bad as too little! And I'm always happy to help out in the nostalgia department. ;-) I look forward to seeing your dad's recipe at some point. Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Thanks so much, John, for the shout out about my cookbook.
    Caesar salad is one of my favourites for its strong flavours but I didn't know its history so that was interesting. I must admit I add a few extras to mine but I quite like the idea of keeping the leaves whole. They could act as a scoop for the other ingredients.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, I'm happy to plug your book - you do good stuff. This is one of those salads that's so easy to add extras. Although this is our basic recipe, I often make it somewhat differently, just to experiment. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Your innovative twists on Caesar salad are brilliant it looks so modern and delish :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Hi Uru, it's a great salad! Totally wonderful flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Wow, I never knew where the name for Caesar salad came from - I naively assumed it had something to do with Julius Caesar. ::cough:: I also never realized how much time is invested in a good Caesar. I love the presentation with whole romaine leaves - just beautiful. I would also agree, the more modern version of the dressing sounds much more desirable to me... Beautiful and helpful post, John!

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    1. Hi Mark, the whole leaves are kinda cool! Unless you use your hands, a bit of a pain to eat - but that's what knives are for! And isn't the history of this interesting? Thanks for the kind words, and comment.

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  9. Caesar Salad is always a hit and this updated version is amazing!
    Interesting to know a bit of the history of this all time classic. I had no idea it was created in Mexico, always thought it was from Italian origin.
    The presentation is superb as always :)

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    1. Hi Daniela, I always assumed it was Italian, too. Until I learned better. ;-) It really is a classic, though, and one of my faves. Thanks for the comment.

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  10. I didn't know the recipe came from Mexico; I thought it was New York (but now I realise I'm getting confused with the Waldorf Salad). I love Caesar salad and yes, there are so many versions. My favourite (but it's not authentic) is the Jamie Oliver chicken Caesar with bacon and whole roasted garlic cloves - lots of them! xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, Waldorf Salad is definitely NYC (and a recipe I need to do some day!). I should check out that Jamie Oliver recipe - sounds interesting! And it doesn't matter (to me) whether a recipe is authentic - I just want it to taste good! Thanks for your comment.

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  11. Nice. I'm a huge fan of Caesar Salad but definitely didn't know about the history until I read your post. I usually tear the leaves into bite size piece. :P Guess I'll have to change that next time I make my Caesar Salad. :)

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    1. Hi Amy, the salad looks prettier if you leave the leaves whole, but is a whole lot easier to eat if you tear them into pieces! But either way it's delish. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. I loved reading about the history of the Caesar salad. This is a simple but beautiful salad and sounds delicious.

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    1. Hi Dawn, isn't that history fun? And the salad is indeed so simple - but wonderful! Thanks for the comment.

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  13. Now that's a Caesar salad. Fresh - salty, singing. Amen.

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    1. Hi Claudia, amen indeed! Great comment - thanks.

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  14. What a fantastic lesson! Have not made nor had a good Caesar for ages - I love the purity of yours and the dish's history - I too thought it came from north of the Border! And at least Down Under I am not too worried about the salmonella issue as long as I know where my eggs were laid :) ! I am so thrilled to read this post I do hope you won't mind my sharing with local friends later in the week!!

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    1. Hi Eha, share away! Just let them know where it came from. ;-) Salmonella is actually a pretty remote possibility, but at least in the US it's real - so I just bite the bullet and spend a bit more for pasteurized eggs. Glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for commenting.

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  15. Really? I had no idea that the Caesar salad was invented in Mexico. Interesting bit of foodology there my friend. I do love a good Caesar but I like the anchovies blended up in the dressing and not on the salad. That may sound strange, but...Of course if I order one and it has anchovies, Bobby will always take care of them. :) I love both of these versions and am now inspired to make one them. I haven't made a Caesar in years and now you've got me wanting one. Thanks!

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    1. Hi MJ, isn't food history so interesting? But this salad really was first served in a Mexican restaurant. I'll take my anchovies either blended or whole - they're all good! And yes, it's time you made this dish again. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Interesting facts. This version looks delightful! A salad that has a lot of flavor.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Hi Rosa, doesn't this salad taste so good? One of my favorites! Thanks for the comment.

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  17. One of my favourite salads, simple yet it packs some flavour. Nice classic and well presented

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    1. Hi Raymund, this salad is both fun to make and eat! Really great stuff. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. I think taking a trip to Tijuana for one of these "original" salads sounds like a good idea. Too bad it might not still be around.

    We love caesar salad and have it at least once a month.

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    1. Hi Maureen, I haven't been to Tijuana for years (OK, decades!) but I remember it being a real hoot. Had I known the origin of the salad back then, I'm sure I'd have tried to track down the restaurant. Thanks for the comment.

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  19. You're one impressive researcher! Okay, so maybe it just takes a few web searches, but I still always love the background you give to all of your recipes. Makes me feel so enlightened every time I visit your page! Yum, Caesar!

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    1. Hi Ala, actually Julia Child did all the research - I just read her book! BTW, research and recipe testing were her hallmarks - although so often adapted classic French recipes (among others) to the American kitchen, the recipes themselves are really solid. Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Great post John, didn't know caesar salad was invented in 1924 or in Mexico. I think one of the things that makes this salad so appealing to most nowadays is the rich and heavy flavored sauce, so addictive.

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    1. Hi Gourmantine, the absolutely brilliant flavor of this salad is what always attracts me. We don't have this every week, but I could! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. I love a good caesar salad, I have never made my own dressing before though. I like the whole leaf used in this, great presentation!

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    1. Hi Natalie, the dressing is pretty easy to make - worth trying. And isn't the whole leaf pretty? So attractive on the plate! Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Nice presentation John! We have a caesar salad very often...especially in the winter when tomatoes are terrible. I don't use egg in mine (even though I get fresh eggs from a friend every week)...instead I use mustard to emulsify the dressing.

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    1. Hi Karen, I think the flavor of mustard works quite well in the dressing for this salad - it has a nice sharp taste that combines well with the garlic and anchovy. Although I do like egg emulsions! Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I do eat a lot of caesar salads but never knew the history of them! This looks delicious and the dressing sounds really good. I've never made dressing at home before.

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    1. Hi Ashley, the dressing is really easy - well worth making at home! Thanks for the comment.

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  24. While in college I waited tables at a little Italian restaurant in Houston's Montrose area. One of our specialties was Caesar(ish) salad. I learned their recipe which was a distant cousin of the original, but a real favorite with their diners. This is still the way I make mine with the exception of leaving out the anchovies. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. What a great lesson and yours looks divine. Mr. Cardini would be proud.

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    1. Hi Karen, a lot of people don't like anchovies or leave them out of this salad - and that's of course authentic. Although I must say I love them! Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Beautiful John! Sometimes there is nothing like the classic version!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, isn't this a great salad? I love the way it looks! Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I think I have a lifetime weakness for Caesar salads. And yes, I am glad no visit to Tijuana is necessary.

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    1. Hi Fawn, I have the same weakness! Good thing we don't have to travel to Tijuana to get our fix. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I love Ceasar salad and I don't mind having more garlic on my dressing. This is a good looking Caesar salad. Thank you for this and thank you for the history lesson because I really didn't know where it originated. Shame on me, ha? :) Have a great week, John! :)

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    1. Hi Ray, more garlic is always a good thing, IMO. ;-) Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for commenting.

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  28. My hubby orders this almost every time he sees it on a restaurant menu. I really need to treat him at home. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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    1. Hi Liz, once you start making this at home, you'll wonder what took you so long! Or at least that's how I felt when I started making it. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. This looks wonderful! I love caeser salad and your dressing sounds really perfect. The more garlic, the better, in my opinion :-)

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    1. Hi Amy, it's impossible to have too much garlic! Well maybe it is, but I haven't yet hit that point. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. 1924? Wow, very interesting! This is my all-time favorite salad, I love the flavors that are combined! There is a restaurant in Boise Idaho that had the BEST ceasar salad, I still think about it today:-) I love the flavor of anchovies in the dressing, it makes the ceasar dressing so much better! Lovely, Hugs, Terra

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    1. Hi Terra, I've never been to Boise - so I've missed that great salad! Maybe I need to visit! And I'm with you on the anchovy - such a great flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  31. Wow, I thought Caesar salad was from Roman empire era, hence called "Caesar" :D I've only known chicken Caesar salad so having anchovy as alternative protein sounds quite venturous. Hehe

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    1. Hi Sue, you actually just use a little bit of anchovy for flavoring, so you can keep your chicken. ;-) And I'll bet a lot of people think Caesar salad is Italian or even dates back to Caesar! Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Gotta have the anchovies. People need to stop fearing the fish. LOL

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    1. Hi Carolyn, no fearing the fish here at Kitchen Riffs central! ;-) Anchovies have awesome flavor, I agree. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I love a good Caesar Salad, and I love your history of it - so interesting! We grow romaine in our garden and Caesar salads are the main reason why - nothing else comes close to that green crisp crunch!

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    1. Hi Donalyn, romaine is such great lettuce! We also like it in chef's salad. But nothing beats a Caesar salad! Thanks for the comment.

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  34. A true classic! My brother and his family lived in Tijuana for 2 years, so I had the pleasure of eating at Caesar's Restaurant quite a few times. The salad is still tossed table side and is marvelous. What a slice of history! I will admit, though, that I'm with you on the umami rich dressing...I love extra anchovies. Your photos are stunning, John!

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    1. Hi Hannah, how cool that you've had Caesar's Salad at Caesar's Restaurant! Gotta have those anchovies, though. Thanks for the kind words, and comment.

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  35. One of my FAVORITE salads...never knew where it came from! :)

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    1. Hi Kristi, great salad, isn't it? And it is a bit of a surprise that it originated in Tijuana. Thanks for the comment.

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  36. I love Caesar salad...maybe because of the anchovies :) Yours look so good...love the idea of having the whole leaves.
    Beautiful pictures John, and thank you for the history of origin of this dressing.
    Enjoy your week :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, anchovies (and garlic!) are reason enough to love this salad. ;-) Thanks for the kind words, and comment.

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  37. Nothing beats a well prepared Caesar salad. And anchovies?! I could eat those straight out of the can as a snack! Maybe, with beer.

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    1. Hi Julia, if you like anchovies, it'd be worth it to you to hunt down the salt-cured kind someday - check out an Italian deli or grocery, they sometimes have them. Better than the canned ones by far (and the canned ones can be quite good). Thanks for the comment.

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  38. John, you never know when you might have a run in with vampires so it is better to be safe then sorry and add more garlic! Great display on the simple and elegant Caesar salad. I like your note about reserving some of the dressing as my motto is you can always add more but if too much it just ruins the whole dish. Can you you bring your salad on over to my salad potluck? I really wish we all lived a little closer and could have a real gathering but I guess for now it is a virtual gathering. Take care, BAM

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    1. Hi Bam, it'd be fun to bring your salad to your potluck! And it is too bad we don't all live closer together! But at least we get to read what everyone is doing. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  39. What an interesting read. For some reason, I would never have guessed a Caesar salad originated in Tijuana. It doesn't seem to fit with the food from that culture. Either way this looks like a fantastic version of this famous salad. I love to toss in leftover chicken, or shrimp and turn it into a meal.

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    1. Hi Kristi, I agree about this not being an obvious dish to have come from Mexico! We will often add a bit of protein like you do to make a one course dinner. Thanks for the comment.

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  40. Hi John, excellent Caesar salad, very pretty presentation. Thanks for sharing the Caesar salad history, now I be knowing. Love your humour but I better be careful, watch my back in case the vampire tap on my shoulder. LOL

    Best regards.

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    1. Hi Amelia, you can't be too careful about vampires! Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for the comment.

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  41. It's interesting to read about a history of a meal that I know so well. Surprising.

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    1. Hi Marta, isn't the history of this interesting? Who knew?! Thanks for the comment.

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  42. Food has so much history! Thanks for sharing. And I love Caesar salad. The lighter version of course ;)

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    1. Hi Kiran, I love the history of food and drink! Always so much to learn. Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Totally gorgeous photos! I've never seen a more gorgeous caesar salad :) And I am a total supporter of anchovies, so I'll take your word that I should just stick to caesar salads strong on the anchovies + garlic!

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    1. Hi Erika, you can never go wrong with anchovies and garlic! Thanks for the comment.

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  44. Oh that's so interesting - I never knew the standard version we know today was so far off from the original. But I'm with you, the more garlic the better! I might try using whole leaves next time though, I love that idea.

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    1. Hi Food Jaunts, the whole leaves are actually pretty nice, although you obviously do need to use a knife and fork if you don't want to use your fingers - no big deal for me because I'm not bothered if I have to use a knife on my salad (I know some people are for some reason). Thanks for the comment.

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  45. I do not like to order Caesar salad in most of restaurants because they put too much dressing. I either order it at a good restaurant (to make my recipe better) or make it at home. I'm going to try your recipe next time!

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    1. Hi Nami, I'm OK with a bit too much dressing, but when it's drowning in it, it's not appealing. Hope you enjoy my recipe! Thanks for the comment.

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  46. One of my favorite salad, every once in a while I see an old fashion place that mixes it table side, that is really cool. I switched to the anchovie paste a while back and I love it, it's so easy to add a shot to dressing. Hope you have a great weekend.
    -Gina-

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    1. Hi Gina, the anchovy paste isn't bad - I usually have some on hand for when I don't want to open a can of anchovies. Having this salad mixed at the table really is a lot of fun, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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