It should not come as a surprise that the best Caesar salad is also the most traditional version. That means it's time to bring out the anchovies and eggs -- and don't skimp on quality Parmesan cheese. We've even included garlicky homemade croutons to balance the tangy dressing.
For the croutons: Put the olive oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter is completely melted add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Carefully swirl the pan to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the garlic to infuse the oil mixture.
Put the bread pieces on a baking sheet. Evenly pour the garlic mixture over the bread and toss to coat. Spread the bread in a single layer and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the bread halfway through cooking to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with black pepper and Parmesan. Set aside to cool.
For the salad: Soak the anchovies in a small bowl of water for 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water, drain and pat dry. Finely chop the anchovies and garlic, then use the side of your knife to mash them to a paste.
Add the anchovy paste, egg yolk, Dijon mustard and lemon juice to a large bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified. Stir in 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan. If needed, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time to thin the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the lettuce and croutons to a large bowl and gently toss with the dressing until coated. Top with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
Salad greens should be thoroughly dried to ensure the dressing evenly coats the leaves. We use a salad spinner and gently pat off any excess water with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
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