Just the other day while eating combo plate #2 at TACO VIA with Logtar and Banky we talked about the merits of a good Caesar Salad, SANS the anchovies. After 10 mins discussing the best places to eat said salad, WITHOUT Anchovies we concluded that this particular salad needs more attention (well, really it was me…Log and Banks went on another line of thought…chasing COUGARS and relationships).
One thing I’ve noticed while munching on a Caesar Salad (CS) is that the leaves need to be very crisp. If they are not the entire experience is ruined. You start inspecting each leaf (I do) and seeing if the salad is really OK to eat. In my past I’ve gotten official food poisoning 6 times. 3 of those we’re directly related to salad/salad bars. Other 2 we’re Seafood and one was what I believe to be intentional of whom I cannot say her name. *shakes fist*. Anywhoo, if the lettuce isn’t crisp I won’t eat it. The flavor is derived from the leaves being saturated with the Caesar Dressing which in itself would decimate the “crispness” of said salad. Let’s move onto the Croutons shall we? I’m a fan of Croutons (CR) and if they’re available to me I will have them in ANY salad (CS) or otherwise because of the crunch and texture it provides my eating experience. I prefer my CR’s to be extra crunchy and seasoned but not so much they over power the salad or dressing. I tend to use 5-6 CR’s per salad and will add more depending on the depth and circumference of the said salad bowl. That leads me to another point. Bowls or Plates. I prefer bowls over plates for the comfort feeling I get and it makes it easier to keep said salad in one place. My mother would add salad to our plates but I always felt it looked out of place sitting next to my pork chop and applesauce, plus it simply looked unappealing. By the way my all time favorite Salad Dressing isn’t CS but DOROTHY LYNCH (DL). I was born and raised on this tomato based dressing where it’s made in my home town of OMAHA! They (thank gods) have this at your local Kansas City grocer, If you’ve never had it…go buy it this weekend. Good stuff and it has NO ANCHOVIES nor has any version therein have ANCHOVIES in it’s ingredients.
Onward, the other main ingredient in a CS is the cheese. Let’s look at the Wikipedia Recipe, shall we?
- Ingredients according to the Hotel Caesar’s recipe from about 2006: 
- romaine lettuce
- olive oil
- mustard powdered or prepared
- fresh crushed garlic – often in olive oil
- fresh-ground black pepper
- wine vinegar 
- lemon juice or lime juice – fresh squeezed
- Worcestershire sauce
- raw or coddled egg yolks
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- freshly prepared croutons
- Widely accepted, but unlikely to be original:
- variations of lettuce
- Romano cheese