This recipe for Caesar salad is made completely from scratch using only fresh ingredients. Make it for dinner tonight in just under 30 minutes!
This salad is on heavy rotation in our house, is not that hard to make and if you add shredded rotisserie chicken, makes a complete meal. So if you don’t feel like heating up the kitchen using an oven tonight, make this classic salad.
- Anchovy paste – if you can’t find the paste, drain and mash canned anchovy fillets
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic – fresh cloves, otherwise minced garlic will be fine
- Egg yolks – or use mayonnaise as a substitute for the egg yolks and olive oil
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Fresh Parmesan
- French bread – preferably sourdough
- Olive oil
- Romaine lettuce
- Parmesan cheese
- Ground black pepper
How to make Caesar salad
- First, tear day-old French bread into small pieces. You can also use a knife if you’d prefer a more uniform look.
- Make a single layer of bread pieces on a sheet pan and drizzle evenly with olive oil.
- Bake until browned and crispy, tossing about halfway through to cook both sides.
- Add the anchovy paste, mustard, minced garlic, and salt to a small bowl, then mash them together using the back of a spoon.
- Then, add the egg yolks and lemon juice. Whisk until everything is well combined.
- Very slowly drizzle in part of the olive oil and use a hand blender (immersion blender) to mix the ingredients until an emulsion is created. (An emulsion is when everything is combined well enough that the oil and eggs won’t separate).
- Add the remaining olive oil and continue blending until smooth. Then, whisk in the pepper and Parmesan cheese by hand.
- Next, clean the Romaine lettuce to remove any dirt and grime. Cut off the root ends and remove any damaged outer leaves.
- Slice the lettuce heads in half lengthwise, then in half again widthwise. Continue chopping or use your hands to tear into smaller pieces.
- Transfer the chopped lettuce to a large salad bowl. Pour the homemade dressing over the top and toss to coat.
- Finally, shave fresh Parmesan into the salad. Serve with the freshly baked croutons and black pepper.
- Chill the salad bowl – Doing this keeps the Caesar salad cold when tossing. As a result, it prevents the lettuce from wilting.
- Grate your own cheese – Packages of shredded cheese have an unpleasant waxy texture, and the flavor is not as bold as when it is freshly grated.
- Make the Caesar salad dressing by hand – If you don’t have an electric blender or food processor, you can blend the dressing using a whisk. However, you’ll need to mix everything vigorously to create the emulsion, and it will take a bit longer to do.
- Cleaning the lettuce – If you prefer to chop the lettuce before cleaning it, you can. Use a salad spinner to clean and dry the lettuce after it’s been chopped.
Watch how to make the recipe for Caesar salad below!
Classic Caesar Salad
- 3 heads of romaine chopped into 2" pieces
- 3 tsp anchovy paste (See Note 1)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 large egg yolks (See Note 2)
- 1/2 fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Croutons (optional - buy store bought)
- 2 cups French bread torn into 1" pieces (sourdough preferred)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Fresh shaved Parmesan for serving
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Refrigerate a large bowl.
- Tear day old french bread or sourdough bread into 1 inch pieces. Spread torn bread on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 12 minutes, until golden brown. Tossing or move around to get both sides.
- Form a kitchen towel into a circle on the countertop. Place a small bowl on top, fitting snuggly. Add the anchovy paste or filets, dijon mustard, garlic and kosher salt. Mash with the back of a spoon until mixed together. Whisk in the egg yolks and lemon juice.
- Slowly drizzle in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil (See Note 3) to emulsify and thicken or use a hand blender (EASIER!), then remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
- Whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese and season with black pepper.
- Slice heads of Romaine lettuce lengthwise and trim dead outer leaves and cut off root ends. Break each half in half and tear into bite sized pieces.
- Add the romaine lettuce to chilled salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing over and toss with hands or tongs to evenly coat the leaves. Add shaved parmesan cheese.
- Divide salad and croutons over plates. Serve with fresh ground black pepper and more shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.
- 6 anchovy fillets, drained and mashed equal 3 teaspoons of anchovy paste if you can not find in tubes at your local market.
- If using raw egg yolks bothers you, you can substitute 3/4 cup of mayonnaise for the 2 egg yolks and the oil.
- I use a small amount of olive oil (2 tablespoons) to emulsify the dressing and then add the remaining.