The Best-Ever Caesar Dressing

Netflix is dangerous. The binge-watching of commercial-free TV shows that occurs in our house is just not normal...or maybe it is? As I'm writing this, I'm watching episode after episode of a favorite show: Parenthood. The show (which if you haven't seen -- get on it) is about the dynamic of a big, California family (the Bravermans) and how the Braverman matriarchs, their four children, and their grandchildren interact with each other. It's heavy on the theme of the importance of family; I love it. It also doesn't hurt that dreamboat Dax Shepard is a main character...

The show always gets me thinking about family, so I decided to share a family recipe that we've had at holiday dinners since...forever. It's a simple, classic Caesar dressing, great on some lettuce as a side to a juicy steak or beef tenderloin, but we like to turn it into a main course with a Classic Chicken Caesar Salad.

This dressing is super easy to make. You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen - egg, lemon, cheese - except for the anchovy paste. It sounds weird and definitely looks weird, but it's a key ingredient. 

Take a liquid measuring cup and pour in ½ cup extra virgin olive oil. Add an egg, a small glove of garlic or two (depending on how garlicky you want it) ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon anchovy paste, the juice of a lemon, lots of pepper, and salt to taste.

Mix until blended with a hand mixer. A five-speed standard blender won't do (I've tried). Thank you Tante Lisa for getting me mine :o) After blending the ingredients together until it's thick, give it a taste. Lemon and garlic and pepper should taste strong. If one is lacking, and add more of what you like until it's perfect. Adding more cheese will thicken it up. I've sometimes used Pecorino Romano in place of Parm - also great. I've made this so many times that I'm warning you to be careful with the garlic. Once I added four cloves (why?) and it was extremely tangy. Start with one clove and add more to taste.

Then, chill it for a little while in the fridge before mixing with crunchy, romaine lettuce. We also like to top it with some (more) shaved Parmesean, grilled chicken strips and homemade croutons (recipe below!).

The Best-Ever Caesar Dressing

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to thicken)
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine ingredients in large measuring cup. Mix with electric hand mixer.

2. Refrigerate to thicken.

3. Toss with Romaine lettuce and croutons.

Homemade Croutons

  • 1 loaf of bread of your choice (French bread, sourdough or garlic loafs are my favorite)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic powder, Italian herbs, and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Toss bread crumbs with olive oil and seasonings. Spread evenly onto baking pan.

3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Check frequently to prevent burning. Cool before serving on salad.


  1. Yummmm!!! Do you think I could leave out the anchovy paste to make it vegetarian? Like, maybe sub in some salt?

    I'm dying for a vegetarian caesar salad!

    1. Absolutely! I think it's good with or without the anchovy paste :)

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