Caesar salad and the dressing that goes with it has an interesting story. Just to be clear, Julius Caesar does not figure in its history and invention at all. But that’s just an aside. There are more important things to remember about this delicious dressing.
1. Caesar salad dressing contains raw egg yolks. You’ve been warned.
2. Extra virgin olive oil and palm oil are used in this recipe to make the dressing. Why use two kinds of oil? Extra virgin olive oil is bitter. If you use that exclusively, your salad dressing will taste terrible. Combining it with palm oil (you may substitute some other neutral tasting oil) fixes the problem.
3. Because there are raw egg yolk in the dressing, it is advisable to make just enough for one meal.
Since this is made by hand, twist a kitchen towel into a coil and place your mixing bowl right in the center. The towel will prevent the bowl from sliding and tilting when you vigorously mix the ingredients.
You start with the flavor base. Anchovies, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper are whisked with egg yolks to form a paste.
Then, you add oil very, very slowly. I always begin with the extra virgin olive oil. I drizzle it in, drop by drop at first, while whisking. Because it’s just two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, you’ll have your emulsion in no time. And that makes it easier to add the palm oil. You can pour it in a thin stream (without taking a break from the whisking) with no danger that it won’t get incorporated into the mixture.
Once the emulsion is done, all you need to do is whisk in the lemon juice. Just to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings before using it on your salad.
Caesar Salad Dressing
- 2 to 3 anchovies
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and finely grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup palm oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Place the anchovies, garlic and salt in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork to make a paste.
- Place the anchovies, garlic, salt, pepper, egg yolks and Dijon mustard.
- Using a wire whisk, mix everything together until creamy in texture, and the anchovies are broken into mere specks.
- With one hand, drizzle in the olive oil, drop by drop at first, while whisking with the other hand to form an emulsion.
- Once your mixture is thick, pour the palm oil in a slow thin stream while continuing to whisk.
- Add the lemon juice and stir until well blended.
- Taste the dressing. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice, as needed. You don’t want it to be too tangy. You’re aiming for creamy and a bit salty with a subtle but unmistakable tang.