One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to make recipes that require an emulsion to come out right. Things like aioli, hollandaise, and traditional mayonnaise all do exactly what common wisdom says can’t be done: force oil and water to mix. This Caesar dressing variation is made much like mayonnaise, although we are going to use more liquid and slightly less oil so that the dressing is pourable rather than thick.
As an aside, the original Caesar dressing did not contain anchovies; rather the anchovy flavor in the dressing came from Worcestershire sauce. Given that most modern Worcestershire sauces don’t have nearly enough of a salty, fishy kick to them, we’re using honest-to-god anchovy filets. Don’t let that scare you away from this dressing, though — the end result is a bright, fresh flavored dressing perfect for greens.
- 3 egg yolks
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- A 2 oz. tin of anchovy filets
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 cup olive oil
Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, anchovies, and oregano into a food processor and blend until the anchovies have been pureed. I only had a Magic Bullet-style blender to use, so after I whipped my egg and anchovy mixture, I transferred it to the bowl of my stand mixer. If using a food processor, you can do this whole process in it. Once you’ve gotten your anchovy/egg mixture smooth, begin slowly adding the oil with the processor running. The key to making a good emulsion is not overwhelming your egg mixture with too much oil all at once. Drizzle it in a slow, steady stream — or spoonful by spoonful if that’s easier for you to control. As the oil is incorporated, the dressing will thicken into something quite creamy and nice. Adjust your seasonings once the oil is all mixed and your dressing is ready to serve.
For our salad, we sauteed a couple of chicken breasts, added croutons, a boiled egg, and Parmesan cheese, finishing with some pickled radishes. This is a salad that makes for a complete meal, but this dressing is good on just a simple side salad with a main course. Enjoy!