icon Cardini's Caesar Salad

Ceasar Salad is named after Caesar Cardini, who is the most likely inventor (1924). Cardini was a Mexican, born in Italy, working as a chef in San Diego and in Tijuana.

The salad consists of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Cardini's recipe did not include anchovies, but our favorite one does.


  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup organic light mayonnaise or 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 8 anchovy filets
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesean cheese (the best you can find, i.e. Parmigiano Reggiano aged 24 months)
  • 1 tbsp of milk, half and half, or heavy whipping cream (depending on your level of dieting)
  • croutons


  1. Start with the croutons. They can be store-bought but if you have an extra 15 minutes, make your own. Start with slicing a baguette, focaccia or ciabatta bread into 1/2-inch slices, and cutting those into 1/2x1/2 inch squares. Arrange on a baking sheet, sprinkle with fresh cut-up rosemary and olive oil on top and bake in a 350F oven for 10 minutes, turning over once. Remove from oven when crunchy.
  2. Trim the romaine lettuce of bruised or browned leaves, then cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Wash and drain the lettuce, dry on paper towels or in a spinner, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to crisp the leaves.
  3. Peel the garlic cloves then put in a large wooden salad bowl. Mash the cloves against the sides of the bowl with the back of a wooden spoon. Rub the pieces against the bowl until they begin to disintegrate. Remove most of the mashed garlic from the bowl and discard (oil from the garlic will remain in the bowl and flavor the salad). Add the anchovies and repeat the procedure you used with the garlic, but leave the anchovy pieces in the bowl (skip if you do not like anchovies). Now add the dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, and egg yolks and blend well. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil mixing with a wire whisk until a creamy mayonnaise type dressing forms. NOTE: depending on your attitude toward salmonella especially in summer months, you may consider skipping the eggs and using a light mayonnaise instead.
  4. Toss together lettuce and parmesan cheese (mix separately before adding to the dressing micture). Add the lettuce to the salad bowl, add croutons and salt. Toss everything together and serve directly from the salad bowl.
  5. Garnish options: aper-thin shaved parmesan chesee, thinly sliced, lightly toasted ciabatta or focaccia bread.

back to Radim and Lisa's Well-Travelled Cookbook | email us

Last updated: October 12, 2010