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The Food Lab

The Best Caesar Salad

The Best Caesar Salad

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: Anchovies and Worcestershire sauce amounts can be varied according to taste. This recipe will make more dressing than you need for four servings. Extra dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

The Best Caesar Salad

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:20 minutes
Special equipment:Hand blender or food processor
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab: The Best Caesar Salad
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 cups hearty bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese, (about 1 cup), divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 to 6 anchovies (see note above)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, inner leaves only, washed and carefully dried, large leaves torn into smaller pieces, smaller leaves left intact

Procedures

  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil with minced garlic and whisk for 30 seconds. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl and press with the back of a spoon to extract as much oil as possible, leaving garlic behind. Reserve pressed garlic separately. Add bread cubes to garlic oil and toss to coat. Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss again. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until croutons are pale golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with 2 more tablespoons Parmesan. Allow to cool.

  2. 2

    While croutons bake, make the dressing. Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, pressed garlic, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese in the bottom of a cup that just fits the head of an immersion blender, or in the bottom of the food processor. With blender or processor running, slowly drizzle in canola oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste generously with salt and pepper.

  3. 3

    To serve, toss lettuce with a few tablespoons of dressing, adding more if desired. Once coated, add half of remaining cheese and 3/4 of croutons and toss again. Transfer to salad bowl and sprinkle with remaining cheese and croutons. Serve.

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