Caesar Salad is probably one of the best known salads along with Waldorf and Greek salads, but with so many variations being made and served today, the original recipe has escaped many chefs, so let’s start with the true recipe for a Caesar Salad.
The recipe consisted of romaine or similar long crisp lettuce leaves, garlic croutons and shavings of parmesan cheese all tossed in a creamy dressing made of egg, olive oil, vinegar and/or lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Contrary to popular belief, the original Caesar salad recipe did not contain pieces of anchovy. Perhaps modern versions include them because the original did have a slight anchovy flavour, however this came from Worcestershire sauce. It is believed that the inventor was opposed to using anchovies in his salad. It is also believed that originally, the lettuce leaves were often served whole because it was meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers.
If you thought the name derives from the great Caesars of Rome, and you had notions of Julius Caser, Caligula or Nero tucking into this wonderful dish, then you may be disappointed to know it was invented many centuries later by a chef called Caesar Cardini (1896-1956).
Although there are several stories about exactly how the salad was invented, there is one fact which is undisputable, namely that Cardini most certainly created it in Tijuana, Mexico in the 1920s.
One version states that due to prohibition, many film stars would take the short trip over the border to relax and party, especially wealthy socialites and the Hollywood crowd. One 4th July, Cardini’s restaurant was inundated with guests wanting to celebrate, which quickly ran down the kitchen’s supplies, so Cardini had to make do with what he had left, and made up the salad with the additional flair of tossing it himself at the tables of the guests.
Over the years, driving to Tijuana for a Caesar Salad became the rage. Not only did Hollywood stars such as Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and W. C. Fields make the pilgrimage, but so did gossip columnists who subsequently wrote about it in their columns.
Today, there are many variations including the addition of grilled chicken, strips of steak, salmon or prawns (shrimp) which make them ideal as a light main course rather than as a starter or side salad.
Text from recipes4us