How to make a Caesar salad?

Published on June 17, 2022 at 2:11 p.m.


We unearthed the authentic recipe for the Caesar salad – © Westend61 / Getty Images

With its inimitable sauce and its delicacy, the Caesar salad is definitely the queen of salads.

Sorry to disappoint you, but the Caesar salad has absolutely nothing to do with the dynasty of the famous Roman general! According to the most famous story, it would have been created in Mexico, by an Italian.

The origin of the Caesar salad

July 4, 1924, in Tijuada, Mexico. Cesare Cardini, then chef of the Italian-American restaurant, Caesar’s, has to deal with a large influx of Californian tourists, due to the festivities for the Independence Day of the United States. Faced with this massive influx of tourists, the restaurateur is very annoyed because food is running out. But determined not to be discouraged, Cesare quickly prepares a salad with a few ingredients left in his fridge. The “Caesar salad”, or Caesar salad in French, was born, and success announced. Almost 100 years later, the recipe has indeed become a fast food classic, but also an easy and inexpensive dish to make at home.

The role of Cesare Cardini, as the creator of the Caesar salad, has however been questioned on many occasions. Some of his collaborators, as well as other restaurateurs, have thus claimed his paternity.

What are the ingredients of the real Caesar salad?

In its original version, the Caesar salad included romaine lettuce, a hard-boiled egg, croutons and parmesan cheese. The sauce, on the other hand, is made of raw egg yolk, anchovy paste, olive oil and grated parmesan. Wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice season the whole thing. Unlike traditional sauces, Cesare mixed all the ingredients directly with the salad, not separately.
Note also that when it was created, “Caesar Cardini’s sauce”, whose recipe was patented in 1948, did not include anchovies. In reality, it was the Worcestershire sauce, which evoked this taste and deceived the palates. Eventually, the use of anchovies became so common that they ended up definitively integrating the recipe.

Over the years, the recipe has become popular around the world and many variations have emerged. Caesar salad with avocado, chicken, shrimp… It all depends on taste. On the other hand, the lettuce and the famous Caesar sauce are essential, so that the recipe deserves its name.

To read: “End of the debate: discover the real recipe for the Niçoise salad”

The real Caesar salad recipe

For 4 people

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 slices of country bread
  • 1 large romaine lettuce
  • grated parmesan shavings

For the Caesar sauce

  • 2 fresh egg yolks
  • 40 g grated parmesan
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp. teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 20g anchovy paste (optional)
  • 9 cl olive oil

Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Cook the eggs for 9 minutes, then plunge them into a container filled with cold water to stop the cooking.
Peel and mince the garlic clove.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, sauté the minced garlic.
Cut the slices of bread into cubes, brown them in the pan. Book.
Wash the lettuce, then divide the salad among the plates. Tear it into pieces if needed.
Peel the eggs, cut them into quarters. Arrange the egg quarters on the plate.
To prepare the sauce: combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking to emulsify.
Drizzle a generous dash of sauce on each plate.
Sprinkle with bread croutons and parmesan shavings before serving.

At table !

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