The Caesar salad, contrary to popular belief it was actually created in the 1920s by Italian-American restaurateur Caesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico, not anywhere near Italy. Running low on supplies, he improvised a salad using romaine, garlic, croutons, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. There were no anchovies in the original recipe. Visiting celebrities spread the word and soon the Caesar became a staple in restaurants everywhere, for over 100 years!

The popular salad never loses its appeal, leaving you feeling content but not overly full - ideal for those lazy summer afternoons or as a starter for a larger meal anytime of year. And if the classic isn't quite enough of a celebration, try our other versions. 

1 large head of romaine lettuce, washed, end trimmed, leaves torn in 2 to 3 inch-pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (extra shavings for garnish)
1 cup high quality croutons
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 tbsp Garlic EVOO)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup mild or medium EVOO
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: 1 egg yolk 

In a large bowl, combine romaine and croutons. For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously to emulsify the dressing. If using, add the egg yolk and whisk to combine. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the lettuce and croutons, tossing gently to coat evenly. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the salad. Serve immediately.

Here are 5 refreshing Caesar salad variations perfect for summer patio dining:

  • Grilled Chicken Caesar: Top with grilled chicken breast strips
  • Seafood Caesar: Top with grilled shrimp or salmon
  • Lemony Caesar: Substitute Lemon EVOO for plain EVOO
  • Mediterranean Caesar: Toss in Kalamata olives, feta cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber; and substitute Oregano EVOO for plain EVOO
  • BBQ Caesar: Top with BBQ pulled pork or chicken and toss in corn