The Caesar salad is, when done properly, one of my favorite things to eat. Obviously anything you get out of a bottle is not going to meet this requirement, but the dressing itself is not all that difficult to make. I was recently at Caesar's in Tijuana where this word-famous salad was invented (they closed in 2009 but reopened last year). They make it tableside by hand. Once you've tasted the clean, creamy, bright flavor of the real thing, going back to the bottle is impossible.
All that to say I am somewhat suspicious of any changes to the recipe. However, when I recently made this version from Seriously Simple with roasted capers (yes, you can roast capers, which was news to me) I was pretty impressed. Turning slightly crisp in the oven, they add a whole level of flavor. Though they were meant to replace the croutons from the original recipe, next time I'd keep both.
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- For the dressing:
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 3 to 4 anchovy fillets, or more to taste
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Hearts from 2 heads romaine lettuce, leaves roughly torn
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small roasting dish, toss capers with oil. Roast 18 to 20 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times during cooking, until just crisp.
In the meantime, mince garlic and anchovy in a small food processor (or do so by hand and add subsequent ingredients to a serving bowl). Add egg yolk, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and pulse to thoroughly combine. Season with black pepper. In a slow stream with the machine running, add olive oil to form a dressing. Pulse in half of the cheese and season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine lettuce and dressing and toss carefully to combine. Divide among plates and top with roasted capers and remaining Parmesan cheese.