Classic Caesar Salad

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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 craggy 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: 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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Ingredients

6 Servings

Dressing:

6

anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

1

small garlic clove

Kosher salt

2

large egg yolks

2

tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more

¾

teaspoon Dijon mustard

2

tablespoons olive oil

½

cup vegetable oil

3

tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

Croutons:

3

cups torn 1″ pieces country bread, with crusts

3

tablespoons olive oil

Assembly:

3

romaine hearts, leaves separated

Parmesan, for serving

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