One of the greatest steakhouses in America is LG’s Prime Steakhouse in La Quinta, California. It’s also a place that I have been going to since I was a child since my family prefers steak for Thanksgiving over turkey. Other than the steak, their most popular thing on the menu would have to be their classic table side steakhouse Caesar salad. They even give you a recipe on a table card so you can make it at home.
This is probably the first dish I ever made from a recipe, and it is still one of my favorites. In fact, asking me to make caesar salad is something Alona does probably once a week. If you have never had homemade caesar dressing then you are surely missing out. Because it is so much better than store bought stuff (which to me is basically jsut a garlicky Ranch.
What throws a lot of people off when making a classic caesar salad is the use of anchovies. Yes, an authentic version uses minced anchovies in the base. Don’t worry if you don’t like fish, you won’t be able to taste them directly. They just add a ton of great umami flavor.
Another key thing you should do is to make your own croutons. Normally I make them with a day old baguette, but this time I decided to do it with a dark rye. Like with all uncooked dishes, using the highest quality ingredients is the most important thing. That means don’t skimp with a cheap olive oil. I always say I prefer Greek olive oil from Corfu over any other, but I can also recommend some Spanish brands as well.
Classic Steakhouse Caesar Salad Ingredients
Romaine Lettuce: LG’s chops it into 1-inch squares, which I sometimes do. However I also plate the leaves whole for a showier presentation.
Anchovies: I use jarred ones packed in olive oil. Tinned will also work.
Dijon Mustard: My go-to brand is Maille, but if you have a preference you can use that instead.
Worcestershire Sauce: Lea & Perrins – no exceptions.
Egg Yolk: LG’s uses a coddled egg, but I just use the yolk raw. If you’re outside of America you can safely use raw egg yolks. If you’re in America, you most likely can too, but Americans tend to have an aversion to raw things.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: My preference is always Corfiot Greek, then any Greek, then Spanish, Italian, Cypriot in that order. Some countries not mentioned produce excellent oils from boutique plantations, but I don’t like to risk it unless I know the producer.
Lemon Juice: Freshly Squeezed if possible
White Wine Vinegar: LG’s recommends red wine vinegar, but I actually prefer white when I make it.
Parmigiano Reggiano: freshly grated
Homemade Croutons: Season to your own preference
Black Pepper: Freshly Ground
** You may notice there is no salt in this recipe. This is because the anchovies and Parmesan cheese are already salty enough as it is.
In a wooden bowl (I know, I used plastic in the pictures, need to buy a new bowl) add the minced garlic and the anchovy fillets. Use two forks to mash everything together. I hold a fork in each hand, then drag the ingredients over the bottom fork pressing down with the top fork.
Add the Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce and stir with the forks to form a paste. I hold both forks in one hand overlapping the top and bottom of the utensil like shown below.
Add the egg yolk and continue stirring, then slowly trickle in the olive oil. You need to continue stirring the whole time to emulsify everything. If you want to switch to a whisk you can. I do this when I double the recipe since the whisk emulsifies everything better.
Add the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and half of the Parmigiano Reggiano grated cheese.
If you are using cut romaine lettuce, you can add it to the bowl directly and toss everything. If you are using whole romaine, then just pour the dressing directly over the leaves. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese, and of course the freshly cracked black pepper.
Steakhouse Caesar Salad
- 10 oz Romaine Lettuce chopped or left whole
- 2 Anchovies packed in oil
- 1 tbsp Garlic minced
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated
- 1 cup Croutons home made preferred
- Black Pepper freshly cracked, to taste
- In a wooden bowl add the anchovies and minced garlic. Mash into a paste using two forks, one in each hand.
- Add the Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce and continue mixing into a paste.
- Drop in the raw egg, mixing.
- Slowly trickle in the olive oil and speed up your mixing speed. If using the forks proves difficult you can switch to a whisk which will be easier.
- Add the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir.
- If you are using cut lettuce then toss it in along with the homemade croutons and give everything a good toss. If not, then you can just pour the dressing over the romaine leaves and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese, croutons, and freshly cracked black pepper.
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