This recipe has all the features of a solid Caesar salad: romaine wedges, from-scratch dressing, crunchy croutons.
Romaine lettuce has sturdy leaves, making it a crunchy canvas for creamy Caesar dressing. The traditional way requires whisking egg yolks and a slow stream of olive oil to form an emulsion. If you’re anxious about raw yolks, use mayonnaise for a cheat dressing. It’s less of an arm workout to make, keeps longer in the fridge, and is just as delicious.
We offer two ways to making croutons: baked in the oven or toasted in a pan. Oven-baked croutons come out crunchier than pan-toasted croutons, but the latter are much faster to make. Either method will turn out great. And make sure to use fresh Parmesan for your salad—your hard work deserves it!
- 1 block unsalted butter
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- salt, to taste
- white sandwich bread
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably fresh
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup olive oil
- freshly cracked pepper
- 3 heads romaine lettuce
- 3 tbsp Traditional Caesar Dressing
- bacon bits
- ½ cup croutons
- shaved Parmesan cheese
Make the Croutons
If using the oven, preheat to 350°F. Trim crusts from white bread and slice into small cubes with a bread knife. Transfer bread cubes to a mixing bowl.
Make clarified butter by melting butter in a pan over low heat. Skim out the foamy milk solids that rise to the top with a spoon, until no milk solids remain and the butter is clear. Transfer to a bowl to cool down.
Add garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to the cooled clarified butter.
Drizzle butter over the bread cubes, tossing or using your hands to coat evenly.
Oven method: Transfer buttered cubes to a small baking sheet, spreading them out in a single even layer. Toast in the oven for 10–15 minutes or until golden brown. Stovetop method: Add buttered cubes to a nonstick pan over medium-low heat, spreading them in an even layer and working in batches if necessary. Toss to toast until the edges are crispy and golden brown.
Make the Traditional Dressing
Finely grate garlic over a bowl using a Microplane or your grater’s finer side.
Add anchovy fillets and mash into a paste.
Add grated Parmesan, egg yolks, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk to combine.
While whisking continuously, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream until well incorporated. Don’t stop whisking! The dressing should be thick and creamy.
Season dressing with freshly cracked pepper. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use.
Assemble the Caesar Salad
Chop romaine lettuce into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add dressing and toss until leaves are evenly coated, adding more if desired.
Garnish with bacon bits, croutons, and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.