I love Caesar Salad. The best Caesar Salad I’ve tasted was made tableside for me at a famous steakhouse called Dal Rae in Pico Rivera, CA. There are not many restaurants which still classically prepare Caesar Salad, so it’s a real treat to dine at Dal Rae and watch the masters make a salad before your very eyes. On my third visit to Dal Rae I kindly asked Richard, The General Manager who is French, if I may write the ingredients down as he prepared our salad. He graciously agreed and even welcomed a future phone call to the restaurant with a report on how my home-made version turned out. I did call him and I raved about the results. The ingredient list is long but most of the ingredients may already be in your pantry or fridge. Measurements are not exact, I did not write down measurements and Richard made everything by eye, he’s probably made this salad thousands of times. This is a recipe you will refine as you experiment and you can adjust seasonings to preference. Most Caesar Salads call for a raw egg yolk, although, if you prefer to play it safe you can coddle an egg like the Dal Rae uses in their preparation. Coddling will heat the egg up enough so it should be safer to consume than a raw egg. I will share all of the tips below.
Caesar Salad Recipe:
Large Salad Bowl, wooden or whatever you have on hand, the larger bowl the better for ample room for tossing the salad
Tongs for tossing salad
Whisk-or you can use the tongs or fork if you do not have a whisk
1 crushed garlic clove
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 egg yolk raw or coddled NOTE: To coddle an egg place a whole raw egg with the egg-shell on, in a large mug, pour boiling water just to cover the egg, let stand one minute and no longer, crack the egg and separate the yolk, discard/ use the white for another preparation. Egg Yolk Substitute: In a pinch when I do not want to use an egg yolk, I use a TBLS of mayonnaise as a binder. The end result is fairly similar, shhh don’t tell Richard.
Dash of Tabasco pepper sauce
2 Tbls. Red Wine Vinegar
pinch of Dry Mustard Powder
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/3 cup Good Quality Freshly grated Parmesan
6-8 TBLS. Olive Oil
3/4 to one full head of romaine chopped and washed thoroughly
Croutons if desired
1 anchovy or more depending on if you like them. They are too strong for my liking so I usually add just a little but most of the time I leave this out because Worcestershire sauce already has some anchovy in it.
In a large empty salad bowl add crushed garlic, lemon juice, egg yolk and tabasco. Whisk to combine. Next add Red wine vinegar, dry mustard, Worcestershire, black pepper, anchovies. Whisk all ingredients to combine. Here comes the fun part. Drizzle about 6-8 TBLS of olive oil while whisking at the same time to create an emulsion. Once all ingredients are nicely combined add chopped romaine to the bowl and parmesan cheese to the top of the lettuce. Use tongs to gently toss the salad so all the leaves are coated. Add croutons if desired and serve promptly. Make this salad just before you are ready to eat. This salad should be eaten immediately or it will wilt. For make ahead instructions, make your dressing and store in the refrigerator. Toss salad leaves with dressing and parmesan just before serving.