It’s not often you’ll find people licking the bottom of their salad bowl. But I guarantee this recipe for Caesar salad dressing will rarely leave you with leftovers.
This is a salad that my mom has been making as long as I can remember. It became such a popular side-dish at extended family gatherings, she was almost always asked to make it, and it became known as “Amy’s Ceasar Salad.”
Now I’m going to share it with you, and you’ll be the one asked to make it all the time. But don’t worry. It’s extremely easy to make.
My Caesar Salad Story
I mentioned that this Caesar salad was a staple during my childhood. So were certain food allergies – including fish and eggs (raw or undercooked). Raw eggs are typically a main ingredient in the dressing.
The thing is…I had to diagnosis myself with these allergies, and unfortunately, nobody believed me. My family just assumed I didn’t like fish sticks and didn’t like Caesar salad or lemon meringue pie. They thought I was using my allergies as an excuse to get out of eating it.
Determined to prove my innocence, I eventually figured out the common ingredients in Caesar salad dressing and lemon meringue pie – those nasty raw eggs. With fish – they just crammed a forkful in my mouth and my lips immediately swelled up like a balloon. (Yes, yes, just like Will Smith in the movie Hitch).
Thankfully, there’s an alternative when it comes to Caesar salad.
You can use Egg Beaters in place of raw eggs, which is actually a safer alternative if you want to avoid salmonella.
- 1 head of Romain lettuce or 2-3 Hearts of Romaine
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil (other oils will work in a pinch)
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 ts Garlic Powder
- One egg, or Egg Beaters equal to 1 egg (1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Croutons and Shredded Parmesan or other cheese to top salad
Yields about four generous servings. Double the recipe for larger parties and potlucks.
Directions and Serving Suggestions:
Chop Romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Combine all other ingredients in an airtight container and shake.
Wait until nearly ready to eat to pour over lettuce. Toss the salad well so both the lettuce and croutons are coated in the dressing, then top with cheese.
Since there is already Parmesan in the dressing, you may want to top with Mozzarella/Romano cheese or maybe even some shredded Asiago for an extra pop of flavor.
Using the big, restaurant-style croutons is best – especially if you do have leftovers. Bigger croutons get less soggy. Make it a meal by adding some grilled chicken breast, grilled sirloin steak or grilled shrimp and serve some bread on the side. I also like adding some green olives now and then.
Dishing Up Some Caesar Salad Trivia
You may notice a common Caesar salad dressing ingredient that’s missing from this recipe – anchovies. It’s not because of my fish allergy.
The man credited with inventing the Caesar Salad, Caesar Cardini, was firmly against using anchovies in his salads. You’ll still get that anchovy flavor in the recipe above. That actually comes from the Worcestershire sauce, which is also what Cardini used.
It’s interesting that a Caesar salad isn’t actually an Italian dish. Cardini was an Italian-American restauranteur who apparently began serving his signature salad during the 1920s in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico.
Queen of the Kitchen Julia Child claims to have eaten Caridni’s original Caesar salad as a little girl. He would often toss the salad table-side, which is a good idea for you too, if you like to put on a show.
Another variation to try…Cardini’s daughter says the salad was also served on whole leaves of lettuce, which were picked up and eaten by hand.
But it’s really the dressing that makes it. And this one is hard to beat.
Even though it’s more American than Italian, I think it would get the Seal of Approval from Julius himself.
What are your thoughts? Are you pro-anchovie or anti-anchovie with your Caesar salad dressing?