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This Caesar salad recipe has no relation to the sad version you were served at a wedding in the ’90s. A great Caesar has swagger: The romaine lettuce should be cold and crunchy, the dressing creamy and briny, and the croutons craggly and freshly made. A few tips for how to get there:

The dressing: Squeamish about raw egg yolks and anchovies? Sorry! Yolks are what give richness to the emulsion, while umami-rich anchovies are the primary reason Caesar salad dressing tastes so good—that, and a good garlicky kick. (If you just cannot, swap in mayo for a lazy Caesar instead, replacing the anchovy with a splash of Worcestershire sauce.)

The homemade croutons: Tear your bread instead of cutting it (we like a rustic country sourdough, but any sturdy loaf works). The shaggy edges that result from ripping bread into bite-size pieces will hold on to the creamy dressing (and make the salad more dynamic to eat).

The greens: Cold lettuce = crisp lettuce. Separate the leaves of a few romaine hearts, rinse if necessary, dry, and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss everything together.

The cheese: Pre-shredded cheese is a no-go. Pick up a hunk of real Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano if you can get your hands on some), and shave it into thin planks with a vegetable peeler.

The method: Toss in your largest bowl with your hands. Distributing this thicker dressing evenly requires feeling, so leave the tongs aside, give your hands a good wash, and dive right in. Serve immediately.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in April 2013.

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6 Servings



anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained


small garlic clove

Kosher salt


large egg yolks


tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more


teaspoon Dijon mustard


tablespoons olive oil


cup vegetable oil


tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper



cups torn 1″ pieces country bread, with crusts


tablespoons olive oil



romaine hearts, leaves separated

Parmesan, for serving