(PCM) Seriously, who doesn’t love a good Caesar Salad every once and while? It is definitely one of the more healthy food choices and can be perfectly paired with chicken, or really any meat dish of your choosing. Others choose to simply enjoy Caesar salad as a main entree all it’s own, as it can definitely be quite filling.
The history of the Caesar Salad dates back to 1924 by chef Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico. Caridini was an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants both in Mexico and the United States. Cardini was living in San Diego but he was also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition.
His daughter Rosa recounted that her father invented the salad when a Fourth of July 1924 rush depleted the kitchen’s supplies. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing “by the chef”, as in the salad’s original form it was prepared and served table side.
A typical Caesar salad is a green salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Although over the years many other chefs and home cooks have taken their own liberties with the recipe and changed various ingredients up a bit here and there.
According to Rosa Cardini, the original Caesar salad did not contain pieces of anchovy; the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad. In the 1970s, Cardini’s daughter said that the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves, which were meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers; coddled eggs; and Italian olive oil.
Although the original recipe does not contain anchovies, modern recipes typically include anchovies as a key ingredient, and frequently is emulsified in bottled versions.
We are happy to share one of our very favorite Caesar Salad Dressing recipes courtesy of OnceUponAChef.com, below:
Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
By Jennifer Segal, adapted from Gourmet magazine
Servings: Makes 1-1/3 cups (enough for about 10 starter salads)
Total Time: 10 Minutes
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (found near the canned tuna in the supermarket)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I like the brand Maille)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann’s Real
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add the mayonnaise, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust to your liking. The dressing will keep well in the fridge for about a week.
All that is left to do after making the dressing is to add in some fresh romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons and some grilled chicken if you choose! Voila!