Caesar Salad

No phone, a movie, a glass of wine, and some salad;

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Did you know that July 4th is National Caesar Salad Day because it is the birthday of Caesar of the Caesar salad!

The very first time I ever had a Caesar salad was way back in the late 1980s. My boyfriend, the Blade, was employed as the chef of a swanky little restaurant in the downtown area of where we lived. Dinners could dine at the bar that was directly in front of the open kitchen that housed a ten-burner gas stove, a salamander, an Alto-Shaam oven, and a small wall of antique refrigerators. The Blade and his sous chef cooked to order a European inspired menu five nights a week. This little restaurant only seated 40 people at a time, that they liked to turn at least twice in a night. The space was very intimate and fun. Occasionally, I would sit at the front bar and have dinner while waiting for the Blade to get off work. This is the place where I was introduced to a world of exceptional tasting food, wine, and drinks, and got to meet and dine with a few very interesting people. The inspiration for the following recipe for the Caesar salad comes from the memories of having dinner at that little gem of a restaurant so many years ago. I loved watching the Blades sous chef create these salads to order from scratch. To say the least I got a great education by sitting and watching everything going on around me and being able to indulge in world class cuisine. Unless you’re pressed for time, there is no reason why anyone should buy pre-made salad dressing of any kind.

Unfortunately, the first version of this unique little restaurant no longer exists due to a major flood that engulfed the town and wiped out several neighborhoods and businesses. One thing that devastating flood did not take away was a lot of great memories of the first 11 years of our marriage. This business did come back after recovering from the flood but not in the original location. As I have been told, the second location was never the same as the first.

 Some more very unfortunate news to add is while writing this blog post, the owner of the business passed away. He will be missed by everyone who loved him.

RIP Kim.

A Caesar salad is a green salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, egg yolk, anchovies, garlic, parmesan cheese, black pepper, and salt. Some recipes that we have come across call for Dijon mustard, too. We do not add the Dijon mustard to the Caesar salad dressing. It’s just a matter of taste of what you like add it, don’t add it. We have made the dressing both ways, and without the Dijon mustard is what we prefer.

The Caesar salad’s creation is generally attributed to, Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States 70 years ago. He used romaine lettuce because it was sturdy enough to be finger food.


1 tablespoon minced garlic

 5 anchovy fillets

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1-1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper


Lettuce Preparation

Ensure your romaine lettuce is thoroughly clean and dry of any water from cleaning it.

Tear or cut into bite-sized pieces.

Dressing Preparation

Mash together the minced garlic, anchovies, salt, and pepper until the mixture resembles a smooth paste. A Garlic press would be a great kitchen tool to help make the mincing of the garlic an easier task.

Put the paste into a bowl.

Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, and the water and blend well

Gradually add in the olive oil, whisking as it is added to form a thick emulsion.

We love using this Dansk wooden salad bowl when we are assembling salads and salad dressings. Not only is it a beautiful bowl, but it is also easy to clean up after use. With these types of wooden bowls, the more use they get the more beautiful the wood becomes. The bowl in the photo above was a wedding gift that was given to us almost thirty years ago!

We buy parmesan cheese and grate by hand using a box grater.

Stir in the parmesan cheese.

Save some of the parmesan cheese for garnishing the salads after plated.

At this time, you want to taste the dressing and adjust the salt and pepper to your preference.

Transfer the freshly prepared salad dressing to a bowl or pitcher that you can use to drizzle onto the lettuce when needed.

Put the desired amount of lettuce and croutons in the same salad bowl that you prepared the dressing in. Add desired amount dressing and toss the lettuce around the bowl to ensure there is an even coating of dressing on the lettuce and croutons. Be careful not to add too much dressing. You can always add more if needed, but you cannot take it away if you add too much.

At this time either refrigerate the salad bowl with the salad in to keep the salad chilled until you are ready to serve it or plate the salads to serve to you and your family/guests. When you plate the salads, be sure to sprinkle a little more grated parmesan cheese on top along with an anchovy filet.


Tid Bits and Tricks

  • The definition of salad is a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients.
  • We keep our salad plates and a few salad forks in the freezer to ensure we always have very cold glass salad plates to serve our salads on.
  • Before you start grating the parmesan cheese ensure that you cut the hard edges from the block of cheese. A good use for those hard edges is to keep them and add them to pasta sauces and soup. These parmesan ends will add another depth of flavor to the sauce or soup you are making. Remember to remove the ends before serving.

Cooking Utensils

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Garlic press
  • Wire whisk
  • A bowl large enough to assemble the salad
  • Box grater
  • Pepper grinder

We hope you try making this traditional recipe for Caesar salad. Unless you’re pressed for time, there is no reason why anyone should buy premade salad dressing of any kind. Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts where we will be showing you some of our favorite salad dressings.

Bikini weather is just around the corner!

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    • Reply kelly April 13, 2022 at 3:30 pm

      Thank You! We are very happy you are enjoying our blog posts so far. We sure do enjoy writing about one of our passions.

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