Each ingredient in a Caesar salad should have its own distinct appeal. The pungent cheese, the salty anchovies, the acidic thrill of lemon juice combine with the garlic and romaine lettuce to create a variety of potent flavors that add up to one of North America’s favorite salads. Set off by the crunchy croutons that soak up the dressing, resulting in a burst of flavor in one bite—well, it’s hard to think of anything better.
Caesar salad was named not for Julius Caesar, but for Caesar Cardini, who invented it in 1924 at his restaurant in Tijuana. A recipe born of necessity, this salad came into being when Caesar realized he had nothing left in the kitchen to serve his guests but romaine lettuce, half a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, and some cheese. Thus, the Caesar salad was born.
Martha recommends using only fresh ingredients for this salad. Even the croutons should be made with fresh, not stale, light-floured bread.
Get the Caesar Salad recipe.