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Caesar Salad

A step-by-step overview of how to make a classic Caesar salad.

To learn the history of this signature salad, read Caesar Salad 101

Tools and Materials

For Croutons

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 8- to 10-ounce loaf rustic Italian bread, crusts removed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For Dressing

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, inner leaves only, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 12 cups)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings for garnish

Caesar Salad How-To

1. Bake croutons: heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the cubes of bread, and toss until coated. Sprinkle the salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper over the bread crumbs, and toss until evenly coated. Spread in a single layer on an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet. Bake until the croutons are golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

2. Prepare dressing: in a large wooden salad bowl, mash garlic, anchovy fillets, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a paste using two forks. Use a balloon whisk to mix in 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the lemon juice, mustard, and egg yolk until smooth and combined, and then gradually whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream, until dressing is emulsified.

3. Assemble and toss: add lettuce, cheese, and croutons and toss to coat with the dressing.

4. Serve: shave a bit more cheese over the salad, and serve.