My Mother’s Best Caesar Salad

My Mother's Best Caesar Salad

2 heads Green Leaf lettuce
1 head Red Leaf lettuce
2 ounces anchovies (packed in oil), drained
1 to 1 ½ cups fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (adjust to taste)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 2 lemons, about ¼ to ⅓ cup
2 large eggs, regular or pasteurized
2 ounces bleu or gorgonzola cheese (about ½ cup), crumbled
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
2 medium to large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

To garnish:
Fresh croutons
Finely shaved or shredded parmesan cheese

Tear the leaf lettuce into bite-size pieces, about 1 to 2 inches. Wash and dry thoroughly; a salad spinner is best for this purpose.

Lay the washed leaves out on paper towels and pat dry; allow to sit at room temperature until fully dry. This step may be done several hours in advance, and the dry lettuce may be stored in a plastic zipper bag and refrigerated until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, use a wooden spoon to thoroughly mash the anchovies. Add the finely grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and mix to form a paste. Add the lemon juice, bleu cheese crumbles, and egg; stir to combine.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the oils and add them to the mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to emulsify, about 1 to 2 minutes, until the dressing appears mostly smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.

Add the smashed garlic to the dressing, but don’t mix – the garlic is used for flavor, and will be removed before serving. If using a food processor to blend the ingredients, you can skip this step and just blend the garlic in, too.

For best results, cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours to allow flavors to meld together. Dressing may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

To serve, place dressing in bottom of large bowl, add lettuce and gently toss until all leaves are coated. Serve family-style or individually plated. Fresh croutons and shaved parmesan cheese may be added for garnish, either atop the salad or on the side.

Sarah’s Tips:

  • This is a large batch, and may be halved for smaller groups.
  • Leftover dressing should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs may increase the risk of foodborne illness, and we recommend using pasteurized eggs, if desired, or 2 to 3 tablespoons real mayonnaise instead.
  • Use a salad spinner to ensure the lettuce is as dry as possible.
  • A food processor may be used to blend the ingredients, following the steps in the recipe, and the garlic may be blended in too, if desired.
  • For maximum juice, heat the lemons in the microwave on high for 20 to 40 seconds before squeezing.