Caesar Salad abuse: please stop!

What are you doing to my classic Caesar Salad? I like it on occasion, but many restaurant kitchens simply abuse the recipe. Either they use the wrong lettuce, the dressing is not up to par, or add too many croutons without enough zesty dressing to absorb. Nothing worse than a dry crouton! Have you noticed this?

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I can usually read the menu description and decide. Frequently no anchovy. Nope and I’m not even a HUGE fan of them.

There’s no canonical recipe to abuse. If it’s bad, send it back.

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Restaurant menus do not always describe dishes at length. Asking the waitperson may not work either. And, Robert, if you know Caesar salad there is an expectation as to how it shows up and tastes…

So send it back if it’s wrong.

The wrong balance between dressing and croutons is sometimes just inconsistency in the kitchen. One place where I’ve had good Caesar salads many times served us one that was off recently. Lots of staffing issues these days.

Agreed. I don’t mind Kale or even kale in salads… but Kale the absolutely the WRONG green for a Caesar. Also, it’s supposed to be croutons… not breadcrumbs. UGH… UGH!!!

I love Caesar salad. Most Salad kit Caesars are terrible. Aldi has one that in order to save money… uses iceburg!! Thank goodness I noticed this right away before even trying it… My favorite kit is from Trader Joes, the Organic Cesar. Great dressing, good greens and the croutons are lovely.

I also love the Rosemary Croissant Croutons that TJs has. This is one of the better at home Caesar recipes I like. However, I don’t use the whole 1/2 cup of Parm. It’s too much Parm from the get go. I also like to sprinkle Parm on my Salad when it’s served.

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Someone agrees with me. Check out Andrew Zimmern on this site:

If Zimmern posted something about Caesar salad, why not post a direct link?

Caesar salad is one of those combinations that’s just insanely good,” Andrew Zimmern says. “But, I’d like to tell a lot of young chefs that you can open a restaurant without a Caesar salad on the menu.”

The chef, restaurateur and television personality says it all comes down to freshness, starting with the dressing, which he stresses, “should be made to order.”

“It should not be made in a five-gallon batch twice a week with an immersion wand with commercial oil,” he says, adding that at home, he uses a big wooden salad bowl he doesn’t wash — only treats — and has had forever. He adds the egg yolks directly to the bowl, mashes in some anchovies with a fork, adds lemon juice then olive oil. “You don’t emulsify those things together because the olive oil will turn bitter,” he says.

Next, he adds lettuce (he strays from the classic romaine, opting for baby heads of gem lettuce due to its better flavor and texture) tosses the salad and adds cheese on top. Zimmern clarifies he’s not against romaine and advises if you’re going to use it, opt for hearts of romaine and use the bigger crunchier ribs of it.

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Not that I’d make dressing for Caesar salad in advance, butI’ve made salad dressing with olive oil and lemon juice hundreds of times and never noticed it getting bitter.