Caesar Salad Dressing

My husband's Caesar dressing on a salad of Romaine lettuce, shredded Parmesan, and toasted baguette croutons (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My husband makes an outstanding Caesar Salad Dressing. Although a higher fat dressing than is “good for you,” his lemony Caesar dressing is certainly a staple in our refrigerator. Sure, you can tell me it’s not “authentic” without egg yolks…and that’s ok. He uses mayonnaise in order to bypass the “raw egg yolk” concern. And we enjoy this easy-to-make dressing in moderation.

My husband's Caesar dressing on a salad of Romaine lettuce, shredded Parmesan, and toasted baguette croutons (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
My husband’s Caesar dressing on a salad of Romaine lettuce, shredded Parmesan, and toasted baguette croutons (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The origin of Caesar Salad is attributed to Caesar Cardini, a restaurateur in Mexico and the United States. Many variations of the original dressing have appeared in cookbooks over the years. Caesar Cardini is said to have preferred the use of Worcestershire sauce instead of anchovies in his Caesar Salad Dressing.

Grilled Chicken over a Whole Leaf Caesar Salad and generous sprinkling of Shredded Parmesan  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grilled Chicken over a Whole Leaf Caesar Salad and generous sprinkling of Shredded Parmesan (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

To make his special Caesar Salad Dressing, my husband combines mayonnaise, the juice of a lemon, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, anchovy paste (optional), canola oil and extra virgin olive oil. Just whisk the ingredients together and store in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to a week. Sometimes, my husband will substitute a country-style Dijon mustard for a different texture and flavor than the usual smooth Dijon.

Caesar Salad using baby greens instead of the traditional Romaine lettuce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar Salad using baby greens instead of the traditional Romaine lettuce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

A couple of favorite Caesar salads that I’ve enjoyed over the years have each had a slightly different twist to their flavorings.

Annabelle’s Bar and Bistro in San Francisco, California, under the helm of Chef Matthew Lee back in the early 2000s, had one of the best Caesar salad dressings I’ve tasted. Chef Lee was polite enough to provide me with his recipe: just the ingredients — no amounts — which is usually the way that my husband and I cook — to taste.

The Caesar Salad at Annabelle's Bar and Bistro in San Francisco, CA (Photo Credit: Annabelles.net)
The Caesar Salad at Annabelle’s Bar and Bistro in San Francisco, CA (Photo Credit: Annabelles.net)

Another great Caesar was served at The Metropolitan Grill in Seattle, Washington circa 2001. Since then, the restaurant has changed its Caesar salad ingredients. I remember a Caesar salad of whole Romaine leaves stacked elegantly on the plate, and drizzled with Caesar dressing. The unique ingredient was a sprinkling of crushed nuts which appeared to be toasted hazelnuts. A very interesting and welcoming addition to the classic Caesar salad. My version of that salad uses chopped toasted pistachios!

Try chopping toasted pistachios and sprinkling them on a Caesar salad!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Try chopping toasted pistachios and sprinkling them on a Caesar salad! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

One of my favorite restaurants at the Delaware Shore is Catch 54. The Caesar salad served at Catch 54 offers fresh white anchovies on top! It’s one of my husband’s favorite salads besides his own Caesar.

The Caesar salad with fresh white anchovies at Catch 54 in Fenwick Island, Delaware (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Caesar salad with fresh white anchovies at Catch 54 in Fenwick Island, Delaware (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

One of the closest restaurants to our home is Trummers On Main in Clifton, VA. It’s a contemporary American restaurant with seasonal menu offerings. Trummers’ Caesar Salad is sometimes served in a glass! Unique idea that you can use for your own entertaining purposes.

Trummers On Main in Clifton, VA serves its Caesar in a glass with a Parmesan crisp (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Trummers On Main in Clifton, Va serves its Caesar in a glass with a Parmesan crisp (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

At home, we like to serve our Caesar salad as an accompaniment to baked fish or grilled chicken.

Baked Salmon in Lemon Butter served with Caesar salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Baked Salmon in Lemon Butter served with Caesar salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar salad accompanies a warm grilled chicken breast (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar salad accompanies a warm grilled chicken breast (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Also, adding some cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp to your Caesar salad can make you feel like royalty!

Shrimp Caesar:  Chilled shelled and deveined shrimp served over Caesar salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Shrimp Caesar: Chilled shelled and deveined shrimp served over Caesar salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some croutons to your Caesar salad, sprinkle on some shredded or shaved Parmesan, or try it with another set of salad greens than the usual Romaine.

Mixing chopped Romaine Leaves with Caesar Dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Mixing chopped Romaine Leaves with Caesar Dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I like to use red and green leaf lettuces or arugula sometimes! The arugula goes great with the Caesar dressing!

Caesar dressing on torn red and green leaf lettuce -- you don't have to use Romaine lettuce!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar dressing on torn red and green leaf lettuce — you don’t have to use Romaine lettuce! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Use whole Romaine leaves for a different effect:

Caesar Salad! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar Salad! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Hubby’s Special Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

3/4 c mayonnaise (we prefer to use Hellmann’s or Just Mayo)
juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/8 c canola oil
1/8 c extra virgin olive oil
anchovy paste to taste (optional, can also be substituted for the Worcestershire sauce, to your taste)

Method:

Whisk together all ingredients in a non-metallic bowl until emulsified (or you can add the oils slowly after you’ve whisked the other ingredients together). Add the optional anchovy paste to taste, or use anchovy paste instead of the Worcestershire sauce — both have anchovy flavor. My husband uses about 1/4 teaspoon of anchovy paste for this recipe. And as always, adjust the ingredient amounts to your own tastes. That’s what makes a great salad dressing! He doesn’t season the dressing with salt and pepper as he prefers to season the salad after it is dressed (some diners don’t like cracked black pepper). Transfer to a tightly sealed container. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

Makes a little more than 1 cup of dressing. of dressing. We usually dress the greens and then add some grated Parmesan before tossing. Garnish your Caesar salad with shaved or shredded Parmesan.

Variations: Use a country-style dijon mustard instead of the regular smooth Dijon mustard. My husband doesn’t recommend using raw egg yolks due to bacterial issues so I don’t offer that as a variation on the mayonnaise in this recipe. We also substitute the vegan eggless Just Mayo for the Hellmann’s mayonnaise. You can use fat-free mayonnaise in this recipe although I think it detracts from the taste, and causes the dressing to become runnier. Sprinkle on some chopped toasted nuts or toasted croutons for a fabulous taste and some additional crunch!

Caesar Salad with Crispy Bacon Crumbles and Toasted Pistachios (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar Salad with Crispy Bacon Crumbles and Toasted Pistachios (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar Salad with Hubby's Special Caesar Dressing!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Caesar Salad with Hubby’s Special Caesar Dressing! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Baby Romaine Caesar Salad with Croutons (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Baby Romaine Caesar Salad with Croutons (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2013) updated 10/2015

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