Olive Magazine
Easy Caesar Salad Recipe

Easy Caesar salad

Published: March 25, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 4

Crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons and salty bacon lardons are dressed with a creamy parmesan and anchovy dressing in this classic caesar salad

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Try our easy Caesar salad then check out our chicken Caesar salad, vegan Caesar salad and vegetarian Caesar salad.

What are the origins of Caesar salad?

The original Caesar salad was invented by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico and was part of his restaurant’s theatre as the dish was usually prepared tableside by the waiter.

How do you make Caesar salad?

Some versions add bacon, chicken or whole anchovies but the true classic is simply romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan and a dressing of garlic, olive oil, egg and Worcestershire sauce (which as it’s made from anchovies is probably where that particular element crept in). We use sourdough for our croutons as it keeps a fantastic crunch and can take the dressing without going soggy. Once you’ve mastered the basics feel free to add any protein you like to bulk it up.

Which lettuce is best to use in Caesar salad?

Cos or Romaine lettuce is best for Caesar salad as it remains really crisp once dressed and won’t wilt. It’s best to tear the leaves into large pieces using your hands as chopping can bruise the leaves and discolour them.

Keep lettuce in the salad drawer (or if you don’t have one the bottom of the fridge where it’s coldest). Buying a whole head of lettuce rather than a bag of leaves will keep the lettuce crisper and fresher for longer. Wrap lettuce in damp kitchen paper rather than leaving it in plastic or cellophane wrapping. This stops excess moisture forming and keeps the lettuce fresher for longer.


Easy Caesar salad recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g cubetti di pancetta, or use bacon lardons
  • 2 thick slices or half a baguette white bread, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 20g parmesan, grated
  • 4 Little Gem lettuces, leaves separated or 1 large cos or
  • romaine lettuce, 1 leaves torn into large pieces

CAESAR DRESSING

  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 anchovy fillet, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • 100ml groundnut oil
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 75g parmesan, freshly grated plus a little extra to serve

Method

  • STEP 1

    In a heavy-based frying pan heat the oil and add the pancetta cubes. Fry gently over a medium heat, moving constantly so they don’t stick or burn. When crisp, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper.

  • STEP 2

    Add the bread cubes to the oil in which the bacon was cooked and fry for a few minutes. Turn when lightly coloured and continue to cook until all sides are golden. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. While they are still warm, put in a bowl and toss with grated parmesan.

  • STEP 3

    To make the dressing, whizz the egg yolk, mustard, anchovy, vinegar and garlic in a large bowl with a hand blender until the mixture begins to thicken and turn pale (alternatively use a small food processor). Slowly add the oils, blending constantly, until well combined. Add a splash of hot water halfway through, this will lighten up the mixture in colour and texture. Stir in the parmesan.

  • STEP 4

    Put the lettuce leaves in a large bowl and toss with the dressing to coat thoroughly. Scatter with the croutons and pancetta and toss again. Finish with more parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper.

More Caesar salad ideas below:

Chicken Caesar salad

You can add a softly boiled egg, a few crispy bacon rashers or some sundried tomatoes to this dish, if you like. Perfect for a posh lunch, or as the starter to a Valentine's Day feast.

A white salad plate with lettuce leaves and croutons

Vegan Caesar salad

Swap bacon for crunchy, paprika-smoked aubergine slivers in our vegan twist on the classic caesar salad.

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad Recipe with Aubergine Bacon

Vegetarian Caesar salad

This crispy chickpea and kale caesar salad is a great healthy twist on a classic. You can also eat the crispy chickpeas as a snack.

Vegetarian Caesar Salad Recipe
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