A veteran low-carber and faithful and long-time reader of our blogs wrote asking for our Caesar salad dressing recipe that she thought she remembered seeing in one of our books. She’s correct; it’s in the Low Carb Comfort Food Cookbook.
Although it does taste heavenly, Caesar dressing is not named for the 1st Century Roman emperor/demi-god; it doesn’t even hail from Italy. No, it’s origins are much more recent and a lot closer to home. What was to become, arguably, the world’s most famous dressing was first prepared by chef Caesar Cardini in 1924 at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. His original version didn’t include the anchovies, which he abhorred, but which I adore. He thought the faint hint of anchovy from the Worcestershire sauce (of which they are a key component) was more than enough of that particular flavor. He also used hard boiled egg in his, which is fine, though I don’t usually add it.
You may agree, but personally I’ll take extra anchovies and garlic on mine.
As we mention in the book, we give credit for our published version to its originator, a physician friend of ours, Michael Judd. He first made his quick and easy version of this classic dressing for us four or five years ago, when we were down in Palm Springs visiting and playing a little golf with him and his wife, Debbie, who was our nurse for at least 10 years. We thought it the best Caesar dressing we’d ever tasted at the time and the years haven’t altered that feeling. We tweaked it just a bit, leaving out the tablespoon or two of crushed garlic croutons his original version called for, and the result is just as Caesar-y.
Learn to make it and you’ll be a rock star to your Caesar Salad loving friends.
Hail of a Caesar Dressing
(Makes about 4 servings)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced finely or pressed
4 anchovy fillets (or about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste)
1 tablespoon homemade mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1. Put the juice of the lemon into a shallow bowl. Add the garlic and anchovy fillets and mash with two forks until you’ve got a smooth paste (or use anchovy paste).
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix with a fork to blend thoroughly.
What could be easier? And it tastes like one made at a fancy restaurant, tableside, with raw egg, the real way.
When you’re making the salad, be sure the romaine greens are really good and dry, since the dressing won’t cling well to moist leaves of lettuce. We always add plenty of curls of good parmigianno reggiano, some freshly ground black pepper, a couple of more whole anchovy fillets, and occasionally a few low-carb garlic bread croutons to the finished plate of dressed greens. When the mood strikes, we top it with some grilled chicken tenders, grilled shrimp, or a grilled salmon fillet.
Does it make one Hail of a Caesar Salad? Hail, yes!