Nothing beats a Classic Caesar Salad made fresh right at your table. Fresh ingredients, freshly made.
For a quick meal that salad that comes to your table freezing cold because it has been prepared en masse and has been sitting in the fridge, will have to do. But nothing beats a classic caesar made fresh at your table with fresh garlic and fresh parmesan.
This is kind of old-steak-house-style but it has stood the test of time!
Of course you can make it in your kitchen and just serve the huge bowl of it for the no-drama-version! The point is it will be freshly made with the freshest of ingredients.
In the Recipe Notes I will give a variation that is quick and easy (for those of you who don't happen to keep anchovies on hand at all times!) and approximates this style.
If you are concerned about raw egg yolk in your salad you can check out the variation in the Recipe notes or this link that discusses Should you eat raw eggs?
Here is what you will need.
- The wooden salad bowl is nice because when you rub the cut garlic on the inside it tends to absorb the flavour. But, don't let that stop you if you only have glass or ceramic bowls.
- Use 1-2 garlic cloves to suit your taste. If you are using fresh-from-the-garden, juicy cloves 1 clove will probably be more than enough. If it is mid-winter garlic with no visible juiciness you will likely want 2 cloves.
- You can easily make interesting croutons at home but if that is a pain commercial ones work well too!
- If you want to streamline the dressing- real mayonnaise is made of oil and egg, and worcestershire sauce is based on anchovies. See the Recipe Notes for quantities to substitute for the streamlined version.
Start by mashing the garlic and salt into a paste using the tines of two forks.
Then you are going to add the anchovy fillets, the Worcestershire Sauce, the black pepper and stir well. Add the egg yolk and lemon juice and stir well.
Add the olive oil and Dijon if using and whisk well.
Add the lettuce to the bottom of the bowl, half the bacon, half the parmesan and half the croutons. Toss til the lettuce is shiny and coated.
Add the remaining croutons, cheese and bacon on top of the salad.
Serve with additional black pepper and lemon wedges.
This made a perfect side for my favourite Eggplant Parmigiana!
You are more likely to pair your wine with the main meat or feature of your meal. But if you are serving this Caesar as a separate course then a crisp white such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Italian Pinot Grigio would work. Choose a low tannin red such as a Barbera or a Southern Rhone blend.
Classic Caesar Salad
- 1 head romaine lettuce cleaned and torn into bite size pieces
- 4 slices bacon cooked til crisp and crumbled
- 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 anchovie fillets
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice plus more wedges if you want more for garnish
- 5 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard optional
- 2 cups rustic bread cut into ½" cubes
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- fresh ground black pepper
Classic Caesar Salad
- Using the tines of 2 forks, shred and mash the garlic and salt in the bottom of, preferably a wooden, bowl until they make a paste.
- Add the anchovy fillets, the Worcestershire sauce and the cracked black pepper. Mash with the forks until well blended.
- Whisk in the egg yolk with a fork. Whisk in the lemon juice and then the olive oil and Dijon if using.
- Add the torn lettuce, half the croutons, cheese and bacon and toss til the lettuce is well coated. Sprinkle the remaining croutons, cheese and bacon on top of the salad.
- Serve with additional black pepper and lemon wedges if desired.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the bread cubes, oil and pepper together and spread in one layer on the baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes til crispy. Allow to cool before adding to salad.