My family loves a good Caesar salad. I’m not really sure how or when the tradition started, but every Christmas Eve we have fondue and Caesar salad. I love a particularly zesty Caesar dressing because it’s the best complement to a really rich meal.
This creamy dressing is full of bright, punchy flavor and is super simple to make! My sole purpose here is to convince you to make this recipe at home rather than going the store-bought route.
You can make this dressing in about five minutes using a food processor or blender. The only prep you have to do is shred some cheese, slice a lemon, and peel a clove of garlic. Then there’s just three quick steps (see recipe below) and voila you have incredible homemade Caesar dressing.
One KEY Thing: don’t skip out on the anchovies! I see you reading the ingredients and thinking “ew I’ll pass on that part.” I won’t lie – I have to use anchovy paste because I’m grossed out by fish in all their forms, but this flavor is KEY to really make the perfect Caesar. When I was a vegetarian my mom used to tell me she would skip the anchovies. I found out years later she ALWAYS put in the anchovy paste when I wasn’t looking. Go mom.
If you’re now making your own dressing, you might as well cut out store-bought croutons as well. For a salad that contains just four ingredients (lettuce, croutons, Parmesan, and dressing), these components should each be the best quality you can do. Which, in my opinion, is achieved by making the dressing and the croutons and using better quality cheese. To make fantastic croutons, simply dice up cubes of bread from pretty much any kind of bakery loaf (sourdough, French baguette, whatever) and toss the cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe some Herbes de Provence (feel free to add additional seasoning or spices!). You want each piece of bread to have a nice light coating of oil. Toast for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and then allow to fully cool. Store in an airtight bag or container for future snacking perfection.
Perfect Caesar Dressing
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3-4 anchovies or 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste
- 1 TBS Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for the salad when you assemble
Put the garlic, anchovy, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lemon juice, egg yolks, and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you see the color and consistency change to a paler, thicker dressing.
Add the cheese and pulse until fully mixed.