Caesar Salad


This classic salad is tossed with a garlicky anchovy dressing, shaved Parmesan, and toasted croutons.

Classic Caesar Salad

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Ali Domrongchai

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 servings

Caesar salad is beloved for the big pay-off when just a handful of ingredients come together to make a robust, well-balanced salad. This recipe stays true to the original version of Caesar salad, with crunchy romaine leaves, toasty croutons, and a savory dressing made with anchovies and garlic. A little help from Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice deepens the complexity of the dressing, while a generous scattering of shaved Parmesan makes the dish more substantial.

Where was Caesar salad invented?

There are almost as many stories about the origins of Caesar salad as there are versions of the recipe. One of the most popular claims it was created by Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, one night when he was short on ingredients and needed to come up with a snack for guests. Other stories credit Caesar's brother Alex as the real creator. The salad quickly developed a fan base; when Julia Child was a young teen she ate at Cardini’s with her father, and Caesar Cardini himself prepared the salad for them the traditional way, tableside. The experience made quite an impression on her and years later she sought out the recipe from Cardini’s daughter, Rosa.

How to make Caesar salad

Using the crunchy pale green inner leaves found in romaine hearts is key to a nice, crunchy salad. But the heart of a good Caesar salad lies in the anchovy- and garlic-laced dressing. Be sure to mince the anchovies well or mash them into a paste using the side of your knife, so they distribute throughout the dressing more evenly. This recipe uses equal parts olive oil and grapeseed or another neutral oil for a better flavor balance; too much olive oil can overpower the dressing. Chop or tear the romaine leaves, then gently toss them in the dressing. Finish the salad with croutons. Taking the time to make your own croutons — and tearing them by hand for even more crunchy edges — is a small step that goes a long way towards making this salad even more satisfying. Add a few shavings of Parmesan cheese and you are done, but top your salad with a piece of cooked chicken, steak, or fish if you want to make it a meal.


Caesar Dressing

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 4 anchovies, very finely chopped/minced

  • 1 grated garlic clove

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Caesar Salad

  • 1 (8-ounce) loaf sourdough or ciabatta bread

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 romaine hearts

  • 1 1/2 ounces shaved Parmesan


Make the dressing

  1. Crack egg yolk into a large mixing bowl. Add anchovies, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice and whisk quickly until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Combine oils in a measuring cup and very slowly pour into egg mixture, whisking constantly, until mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Tear sourdough loaf into 1/2-inch pieces and spread on a baking sheet. Toss bread with olive oil and salt. Toast bread until edges are golden brown, about 8 minutes.

  2. Tear romaine leaves and add to salad bowl. Slowly add half of the dressing and gently toss with romaine so leaves are coated in dressing. Add more dressing per your preference. Top salad with croutons and Parmesan and serve.

To Make Ahead

Dressing may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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