The classic Caesar salad is most often accredited to chef Caesar Cardini of Tijuana, Mexico, though several stories of the salad's creation abound -- including one that gives credit to a quick-thinking salad chef at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A coddled egg is the creamy base for authentic Caesar salad dressing, but modern variations have replaced the egg with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. A coddled egg is one that's been allowed to sit for one minute in boiling water that was poured over it, then cooled in running water.
Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan), the "king" of cheeses, must be included in an authentic Caesar salad. Typically, the Parmesan is grated and mixed into the dressing, but sometimes it's shaved over the dressed salad.
Coarse salt, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic, anchovy fillet, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce supply the background flavors. Only the outer portion of the garlic should be used (no inner, green cores allowed) and the garlic and anchovy should be thoroughly mashed. The lemon juice should be carefully strained to remove any seeds.
In addition to the egg (or mayonnaise) high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil is whisked into the dressing to blend it together.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images