Caesar Salad Recipe

July 22, 2012 26 Comments

Caesar Salad Recipe

How to Prepare Great Caesar Salads

One of my favorite salads and one that I usually request when dining out is Caesar Salad. I remember dining at a couple of restaurants in New York City where they made the Caesar Salad table side with such flair and showmanship. Now you are lucky if they make the dressing from scratch.

I have found several great cooking videos that show you how to make a great Caesar Salad at home and have posted them at the end of the page. These videos will give you step by step instructions for making the dressing and putting it all together but first a little history….

History of the Caesar Salad

This popular dish was originally created in 1924 by Italian chef Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico and was prepared and served right at the table. If you have never experienced “the show” that goes with table side presentation, you don’t know what you missed. What an opportunity for a waiter to show off his stuff, mixing and whisking to the delight of the patrons.

For those of you who are not fans of anchovies, you may be interested in knowing the original recipe for this salad did not include them. So when the waiter asks if you want anchovies on your Caesar Salad, tell him, ” No, I prefer Chef Cardini’s original recipe.”

What About Those Raw Eggs?

Although some recipes use a raw egg, a coddled egg will give the dressing a smoother, creamier texture. How does the Reluctant Gourmet coddle an egg? Easy, bring a small pot of water to fast boil and gently place the egg into it and cook for 60 seconds. Remove the egg from the water and cool off under cold water to stop the cooking process.

You can buy a variety of bottled Caesar Salad dressings in your grocery store even one that has an photo of Chef Cardini on it, but none are as good as making it yourself.

The recipe below is not Cardini’s original recipe but one that was given to me by a chef in New York City. You can also buy a variety of commercial croutons, but I highly recommend making your own. It’s easy and the taste is far better than any crouton you can purchase. You can store the croutons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Caesar Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6 servings

Caesar Salad


For the Croutons

2 large garlic cloves

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons virgin olive oil

2 cups French baguette slices cut up into 1/2 inch cubes (white bread works too)

For the Salad

1 large egg

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 medium garlic clove, crushed

1 pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 4 flat anchovies

1 teaspoon capers

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/3 cup virgin olive oil

2 medium heads of romaine lettuce -- outer leaves removed

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated

How To Prepare At Home

For the Croutons

Combine garlic, oil, salt, and bread cubes in a bowl. Mix until cubes are coated evenly. Spread the coated cubes onto a baking sheet and bake until the croutons are golden. This should take about 10 minutes.

For the Salad

Bring a pot of boiling water to boil, add egg and cook for just 60 seconds....NO MORE. This is coddling the egg. Remove the egg from the water and let it cool off. You can also run the egg under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Meanwhile, mix the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper, anchovy, mustard and capers in a bowl. Crack egg and add to these ingredients. Whisk until smooth.

Now for the tricky part. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream while constantly whisking again until smooth. Reason: if you add the oil too quickly, the dressing will be separate and not emulsify.

To Serve

Tear the romaine lettuce into 1-2 inch pieces and add them to a large bowl (wooden if you have one). Add half the dressing, toss, add remaining dressing, Parmesan cheese, and croutons and toss again. Serve on chilled plates.



Last modified on Sun 30 July 2017 5:26 pm

Filed in: Salad Recipes

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  1. Cecil says:

    Please spell correctly the name of what you are representing:
    Caesar Salad

    Thanks for the catch – RG

    • Cheri says:

      How rude!

      • Scott says:

        To Cheri: There is nothing rude about informing someone when they make a mistake! I appreciate it.

        To R.G., I love this recipe! It’s my favorite Caesar Salad. I’ve been making it for many years.

  2. Nicolet says:

    You say caesar I say cesar…
    Whatever ..
    I just loved the story, but more important the recipe is very good.
    I made my dressing with the anchovy and It was great!

    This was thebfirst time I stumbled upon your website but I will return soon to check out more of your recipies. Hope they all are good as this one is!

    Nicoletbfrom holland

    Ps might you wonder why you get so little response…..this captcha is a real challenge

  3. Malcolm says:

    This recipe is as good as my uncle’s, who used to work in a fancy restaurant. I’ve been making it for a couple of years, and it never gets old. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bonnie says:

    Love this…..first time ever making Caesar salad with my own homemade croutons. Lots of compliments….Than you

  5. Marinicaxxx says:

    Thank you! Very good with balsamic vinegar instead of Worchestershire!

    • Kelly Dickson says:

      I have a recipe that includes red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, plus you only use the egg yolk, no white. Very good. I’ve never tried it with capers, that sounds good.

  6. Edna says:

    When coddling the eggs you say remove from heat and let cool off. Do you mean remove the eggs from water and let cool off or do you mean remove the pot of water with the eggs and let cool off?

    Edna, it is my understanding you remove the egg from the water and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. – RG

  7. Marlena says:

    Most delicious !
    I also used balsamic vineger great choice ! ! !

  8. Kendra says:

    I blog often and I truly appreciate your information.
    Your article has really peaked my interest.

    I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week.
    I opted in for your Feed too.

  9. Zubaidah says:

    Thank you for giving such precise instruction on the method!

  10. skimish says:

    an excellent recipe.

  11. Judy says:

    I’ve made this salad several times now. Every time I make it I get rave reviews–especially when I make the croutons, too. Never skimp on the garlic!

  12. Sasha says:

    Perhaps this is a stupid question, but how long does the dressing last in the fridge? After making this my SO hates store variety caesar and I’d like to be able to make some and leave it in the fridge for a week or two.

    Hi Sasha, I wouldn’t leave it for more than a couple of days but that’s me. I suggest you make as much as you need for your salad each time you make it because there are no preservatives in it.

  13. alan puccini says:

    Wooden bowl for sure:
    For the salad: rub the bowl with the garlic ,then assemble the dressing and then the salad.
    The Sea Wolf Restaurant, 41 Jack London Square,Oakland,California. -1951 to 1985.
    At table only!
    a. puccini

  14. Chase says:

    I think this site has very wonderful composed subject matter posts.

  15. Talya says:

    Stumbled upon this recipe while searching for the perfect Caesar salad, and I’m glad that I can finally call off the search.
    Absolutely LOVED the result, the touch of capers is genius!
    I enjoyed your writing, and will definitely start following your blog.
    Thank you for sharing the recipe!
    Talya 🙂

  16. Valeria says:

    I live in Tijuana…I need to go to the restaurant where the salad was created

  17. Thank you , sounds delicious !

  18. sophia says:

    Thanks for the recipe – I have had the original in Tijuana – created tableside – I don’t usually eat mustard or anchovies… but the creation was fabulous. also the Beef Wellington is worth the wait


  19. jacquelyne hernandez says:

    Do You have to exactly have dijon mustard or can you have another type?

    • The Reluctant Gourmet says:

      Hi Jacquelyne, I like dijon for this recipe but you can try something else if you like a different mustard better. Over time you may try several different mustards to decide which you like best. Everyone’s tastes are different. Let me know if you come up with one you like better.

  20. Fred says:

    This is not Caesar salad!

    If you add ANY anchovies, beyond those in the Lee
    & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, then it becomes “Aviators salad”.

    ALL true caesar salad dressings MUST be made into the romaine lettuce, and eaten on the spot. ANY “Caesar” dressings made and bottled are NOT Caesar salad dressings, including those marketed as “Cardini’s Original”.

    The Caesar salad is a Mexican invention, created by one of Cardini’s chefs, who’s name I will not print here. I have the original dressing recipe, given directly to my grandfather in 1922, before he died in the crash of a US Navy airship.

    I am in demand as a Caesar salad chef at friends’ parties, etc. I am thoroughly addicted to CS and eat it several times a week.

    For an addition to it (making it non-original, but really delicious) mix Asiago cheese to the Parmesan. NEVER use ANY vinegar if you want to keep it original.

    The raw or coddled egg is a must. As in the true original (Not served the first night when Cardini needed quick foodm but perfected later), I let my garlic oil reprosaire for a few days before using, to improve on the flavor.

    Always use Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and Coleman’s dried mustard.

    I rarely use croutons, but when I do, they are homemade and cooked in garlic oil, with salt & pepper.

    I love all the varieties of “Caesar” salad recipes, however, and I have tried all of them, including this one here, which is delicious!! Keep em’ coming!!


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