Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

When it comes down to it, an emulsified Caesar salad dressing like this one is essentially a flavored mayonnaise. But because of the Parmesan and black pepper it contains, it's far easier to emulsify a Caesar dressing than a standard mayonnaise. The absolute easiest way to do it is using our Foolproof 2-Minute Mayonnaise technique.

Yes, this Caesar salad dressing contains anchovies—it's an essential part of modern-day iterations of Caesar salad, even if the original version may not have had any. But feel free to adjust the number of anchovies, and the amount of Worcestershire sauce (which itself contains a small amount of anchovy), according to your taste.

Why It Works

  • An emulsified dressing clings well to the surface of waxy, hydrophobic lettuce leaves, for even coating and better flavor in each bite.
  • This recipe calls for up to a half dozen anchovies for plenty of savory depth, though you can scale back that amount if you like.
  • Yield:Makes about 3/4 cup (180ml)
  • Active time: 7 minutes
  • Total time:7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, or more to taste, up to 6 fillets (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Worcestershire sauce (see note)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (15g; about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. 1.

    Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in the bottom of a cup that just fits the head of an immersion blender, or in the bottom of the mini chopper attachment of a food processor. With blender or processor running, slowly drizzle in canola oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.

  2. 2.

    Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste generously with salt and pepper. Caesar dressing can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.