Caesar Salad is one of those creations that sounds elegant and complicated, yet is incredibly basic and easy to make. I have always shied away from making my own Caesar dressing because of two things–raw eggs and anchovies.
While I stand patently firm on not eating raw eggs because of potential salmonella issues, reluctance to eat anchovies was a learned behavior. They used to be extremely popular on pizza, but it would take a manly man to agree to eat anchovies–everyone else would go into shivering convulsions over the thought of eating those little canned fish darlings. Although I had actually never tasted anchovies, I was certain that something vile would happen to me if I did eat them. Maybe a large blinking sign with an arrow pointing at me would appear over my head, “WARNING: This girl eats ANCHOVIES.”
It took many years for me to agree to eat a Caesar salad, because of the anchovies and the raw eggs. Then, Lighthouse Salad Dressing appeared on the scene and I finally felt comfortable eating Caesar salad, knowing that the eggs were safe and I couldn’t actually ‘see’ the anchovies. It was delicious and I couldn’t get enough of it. Basic Caesar Salad = A, Caesar Salad with Chicken = A+, Caesar Salad with tempura battered Grouper = A++++++! (I had the latter every single day on a cruise that I took a few years ago!)
The recipe presented here is ‘safe’–no raw eggs. To get around having to actually open a can of anchovies, I have used anchovy paste. I do have a can of anchovies in my pantry, waiting for me to get over my ridiculous ancient reluctance. I mean, afterall, I have no problem with Worcestershire sauce which contains anchovies. And I now have no problem with a processed Caesar salad dressing (but, I am relentlessly picky about the brand), so what is my deal with opening up a can of anchovies?
The salad itself, only contains three ingredients–romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and croutons. The dressing is the star of the show and is decidedly super easy to make.