This is one of those recipes that firmly underscores how homemade is best. I’m in no way a salad dressing snob and believe you can find perfectly decent bottled options, but this caesar salad dressing is so effortless to make – and the zing of freshly juiced lemon and minced garlic is, after all, what we’re after when we hail a Caesar.

Tip: If you’re not keen on the idea of raw egg yolk, substitute with an additional ¼ cup of Parmigiano and add 2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar to the dressing

Serves 4

For the dressing
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon Maldon salt (or kosher salt)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¾ cup regular or extra virgin olive oil

For the salad

2 large (or 3 small) Romaine heads
5 strips of thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped

  1. For the dressing, drop the egg yolk into a large bowl and whisk slightly.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, save the olive oil and whisk to combine. Very slowly pour in the olive oil, continually whisking until pale and aerated. 
  3. Check for seasoning and grate in more cheese, if needed – and set aside.
  4. For the salad, wash the lettuce leaves and dry in a salad spinner or blot dry with paper towels. Stack the leaves and slice them crosswise about 2-inch widths (or, more realistically, tear the leaves a few times into a large bowl).
  5. Toss the leaves with enough dressing to thoroughly coat, but not soak them.
  6. Top with chopped bacon and more freshly grated cheese.

Recipe inspired by Ina Garten and adapted by Gluggable.