Once a staple of every fine dining restaurant with table-side service, freshly made Caesar salad is a true luxury -- but an accessible one. Just like Caesar salad in its classic presentation, this version has everything you need to bring that luxury home. A blender or food processor makes short work of the dressing, which you should make just before serving.
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You can't have a classic Caesar salad without egg yolks. The richness and smooth texture of the dressing require them. But you need to consider food safety, and fresh, pasteurized eggs are the only way to go. Pasteurized eggs undergo low-temperature pasteurization that kills salmonella and have the U.S. Department of Agriculture's approval for raw consumption. The tops of pasteurized eggs are stamped with a red "P" in a red circle.
Quick Classic Caesar
Start to Finish: 10 minutes
- 5 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 pasteurized egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Croutons to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 to 4 hearts of romaine, washed, thoroughly dried and separated into leaves
Add the anchovies, garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, a pinch of kosher salt and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan to a blender or food processor. Blend the ingredients on high until a paste forms.
Drizzle in a few drops of vegetable oil while operating the machine on high. Add a few more drops of oil, then slowly drizzle in the remainder until a smooth sauce forms.
Taste the dressing and add freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, if needed. Place the hearts of romaine in a large mixing bowl.
Spoon half the dressing around the sides of the bowl and toss the leaves with it using your hands. Coat every leaf, front and back, with the dressing.
Spoon the remaining dressing around the sides of the mixing bowl and coat the leaves again. Garnish with croutons and a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
- If the dressing breaks while you're mixing it, add 1/2 egg yolk and a few drops of cold water to bring it back together.
- Homemade croutons make a noticeable difference in the Caesar experience. Roughly torn peasant bread, with its craggy texture, absorbs the dressing and adds a substantial crunch you don't get with lesser croutons. Tear half a loaf of day-old rustic bread into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Lightly coat the torn bread with olive oil, and season it with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake the croutons until golden brown in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven.