Yes, it is very random that the Caesar salad was reportedly first made in Tijuana, Mexico. Almost as random as the fact that I spent one New Year’s Eve eating really good Chinese food in Tijuana followed by seeing a Beatles cover band.
I digress. As the story goes, Caesar Cardini ran a restaurant in Tijuana back in the early 1920s that catered to Southern California clientele, who would go to Mexico to be free of Prohibition and get their drink on. As some of the lore has it, on a busy July 4th in the 1920s, Cardini’s ran out of most restaurant staples, so the folks in for dinner just asked him to make whatever he could. Cardini evidently concocted his namesake salad, prepared tableside, and thus the salad was born. Rumor has it that Cardini was very much opposed to anchovies in his dressing, and the original recipe did not call for such. However, anchovies—which are very rich in that lovely “umami” taste—are a natural source of glutamate, and they add a complex, salty flavor that is hard to replicate without a bunch of unnatural stuff.
I do call for some Worcestershire sauce in this. You can make your own version of the sauce, or look for a brand that does not have any gluten contained. I found one brand that has no wheat/gluten, but had a smidge of evaporated cane juice. I was okay with that. If you aren’t, just keep it out!
Many recipes call for coddling the egg before adding it to the dressing. Essentially, this is almost like poaching the egg (you can coddle the egg either in its shell or in a special egg coddler). I usually just use the freshest eggs I can and skip the coddling!
~ juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 garlic cloves minced
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Paleo Mayonnaise
½ cup (125 mL) olive oil
1 head romaine lettuce, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
- Take all dressing ingredients except olive oil and blend in food processor.
- When mixed well, slowly add the olive oil while the processor is running.
- Place some of the dressing in the bottom of a wooden bowl, and toss in lettuce leaves to combine. Add more dressing as desired. Serve immediately.
Variations—If I was going to be cheating with some dairy, or following a lacto-paleo diet, I’d for certain add in some fresh shaved Parmigiano-reggiano to my Caesar salad! To make this salad into a meal, top your salad with some grilled chicken, grilled salmon, or grilled shrimp.